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At an annual shareholders meeting late last week, Fiat chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne announced that his company is strongly considering hybrid vehicles for European markets. His comments came shortly after an Italian politician leaked news that Fiat will launch minivans with alternative powertrains.

Italian automaker Fiat is already huge in the diesel segment with almost 80 percent of the cars sold in the boot peninsula already running without spark plugs. Now, Fiat is working on their own home-grown hybrid system that could be on sale by 2011. With the goal of having the lowest CO2 emissions of any European car-maker, Fiat is developing their hybrid powertrain to work with both gasoline and diesel engines. Fiat is working on systems for both small cars and vans with the former being paired