When Fiat's chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne speaks, people listen. Well, maybe not everyone, but at least the ears perk up on the people inside Chrysler with the power to get stuff done. Case in point, a few weeks ago Marchionne spoke in Traverse City, MI. The topic du jour was CNG-powered vehicles, something that Fiat knows a lot about. Marchionne hinted that CNG would be a solid short-term solution for Chrysler as the company moves towards a cleaner future.
This CNG plan of action is now being echoed by Chrysler Powertrain leader Paolo Ferrero. Ferrero says Chrysler may turn to CNG-powered vehicles in the near future while putting electric vehicles off until sometime after 2012. As Ferrero notes, Fiat's full lineup of CNG-powered vehicles would give Chrysler instant access to the greener natural gas technology. Ferrero's attention has now turned to convincing the government to subsidize the infrastructure needed to support CNG-powered vehicles. If the infrastructure rolls into place, Chrysler could be ready to offer CNG vehicles by the end of 2011. The development of said infrastructure would probably take years, meaning that Chrysler may be ready, but the nation probably won't be.
[Source: Detroit News]