By on April 1, 2011

Somebody must have slipped Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne some Sodium Pentothal as an April Fools joke, as he’s just topped his previous high-water mark for ill-advised candor (set earlier this week). Automotive News [sub] quotes the feisty CEO admitting

The economics of EVs simply don’t work. On the 500 that (Chrysler) will begin selling in the U.S. next year, we will lose over $10,000 (per unit) despite the retail price being three times higher [than the gas version].

Like, Zoinks! I spent some time in a Cinquecento last weekend, and though it made a great little LeMons pace car and is honestly quite fun to drive, it’s not much car for the $15k-$19k+ Chrysler wants for a 100 HP version. Spending three times that amount for a money-losing electric version simply boggles the mind. Or do they celebrate April Fools Day in Italy?
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12 Comments on “Fiat 500 EV To Cost $45k+, Lose $10k per Unit...”

  • avatar

    Making the price problem worse is that this is a conversion from a gas model, which means it’s already not optimized for EV use.
    While I like Sergio’s candor, his business sense is obviously akimbo since he approved such a project.

  • avatar

    Sodium pentathol is an amazing drug. I still vividly remember the wonderful high I got back around 1974 when I had two wisdom teeth out, and how, as my mother drove me home from Dr. Sleeper’s (real name!) office, I thought that it was lucky you couldn’t get this stuff easily; otherwise I’d stay high all the time. I DID tell the nurse that she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my life, and then I asked her to marry me. She indicated that she was very familiar with the way people acted while high on sodium pentathol, and that my enthusiasm for her would subside once I was no longer high.
    My own theory is that Marchione would have approved the project while high on pentathol, when everything looks beautiful, and that now that he’s down he’s telling the truth about the expenses in order to get his people to can the project for him.

  • avatar

    Looks like the Fed’s will have to up the tax credit. Problem solved. Sodium pentathol indeed.

  • avatar

    There is a certain level of government interference here as well.  Mandates to produce electric cars, loans, pollution standards are behind this push.  Yes, 75% of it will be wasted.
    There is a real market for a hybrid city car:
    1.  Low mileage – you don’t need 20+ miles of EV range.  5 or 10 might be enough.
    2.  range extender — this is going to be an vehicle for all needs.
    3.  Solve the plug issues — city dwellers are the least likely to own a parking space with a plug.  throwing a small honda generator into the mix might work.
    Again, this is a regulation problem.  Too much focus on highway MPG, not enough on City MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      You basically just described the current crop of hybrid cars, with perhaps an add-on battery and plug-in capability.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation of hybrids meets criteria #1 exactly.  Number 2 is irrelevant in such a situation, and number 3 is already being worked on.  Chicago, for example, already has a contract with a company that is in the process of placing hundreds of credit card-enabled charging plugs all over the city.

  • avatar

    Not surprised

  • avatar

    If the economics just don’t work – than don’t do it. Isn’t this the waste that he called an act against humanity back in November 2009? Sergio, che fai!

  • avatar

    For the record, it’s “Sodium Pentothal”.

  • avatar

    I’m sure they’ll make it up in volume. Because it’s so dang cute!

  • avatar

    I really hope Sergio is joking. This is the EV I want to buy, and $45K is about $10K higher than what I’m willing to pay.

  • avatar
    M 1

    Welcome to the world of progress by government mandate.

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