Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently spoke to the media about his companies' fuel-efficiency efforts, saying that hybrids and natural gas-powered vehicles will be coming by 2017. On the electric front, the Fiat 500 EV will be introduced in North America later this year, Marchionne said, admitting the car was being built for two main reasons: first, because California's ZEV mandates require it and, second, so Chrysler engineers learn more about electric powertrains. That sure makes it sound like Chrysler is years behind other companies, given that others have EVs on the market already. We know that Chrysler made a splash with the ENVI vehicles in 2008, but it's been relatively quiet since then.
The Fiat EV is not going to be a financial windfall. Marchionne recently said (again) that Fiat "will lose money on every car we make." The car could lose Fiat as much as $10,000 per vehicle.