The famously EV-averse Marchionne says the company may start work on an electric vehicle for its hoped-for Maserati Alfieri model. Additionally, a hybrid version of the Maserati Levante SUV may also be developed during the next few years. The EV may be available by 2019, while the hybrid may start sales shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, Fiat may also be working on an electric city car, which would be its first in Europe.
The key, of course, is the price point. The Maserati brand means that a new EV may be a legitimate competitor to Tesla Motors because such a badge could approach the $100,000 threshold where the Tesla competes. Marchionne has long professed that it's nearly impossible to make money on electric vehicles. Earlier this month, Marchionne, speaking with UK's Car magazine, suggested that Tesla Motors is the best example of this theory, because, for all the demand for and growth of the California-based company, Tesla has never made an annual profit.
And while the Fiat 500e electric vehicle has been feted for its style and performance, Marchionne has always insisted that the model was produced strictly to comply with California's zero-emissions policy, and that the company loses about $10,000 on each 500e it sells.