Sergio Marchionne: Maybe EVs Are the Future, Who Knows, What the Hell…

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
sergio marchionne maybe evs are the future who knows what the hell 8230

Shortly after publicly dissing Tesla for the umpteenth time and speculating that electric cars aren’t the future, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne now says he wants to make an electric car.

Well, maybe. If he has to. But it’s probably gonna happen. This EV thing could be big, you know.

The indecisive company head told Bloomberg that he’s considering adding a selection of EVs to FCA’s portfolio, with a Tesla-fighting electric Maserati being the most likely offering.

Marchionne said that using the Maserati Alfieri as an experimental platform for a new EV is an idea he finds interesting, telling Bloomberg Television, “I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it.”

The sleek Alfieri, a grand tourer that was expected to start production this year, recently saw its arrival date pushed back to 2018. Constantly changing timelines are the norm at FCA, so the delay could give Marchionne time to work on his Tesla-fighting dreams before its launch. He admitted, though, that such a vehicle wouldn’t happen until after her retires in 2019.

Another half-formed plan festering in Marchionne’s brain is the creation of an electric city car for the European market.

FCA sells no EVs in Europe, which is rapidly ditching diesel as its fuel du jour. As major cities pass laws banning the use of fossil-fueled vehicles in city centers (or at certain times or days of the week), a small EV would help the company tap into a potential growth market. It would also boost the SUV-heavy company’s green credentials, given that the electric Fiat 500e (a money-losing model that Marchionne hates) is only sold in North America.

The CEO claimed he’s still not convinced that EVs are “the solution for all of man’s ills,” but figures he may as well experiment if everyone else is doing it. Peer pressure is a hell of a drug.

[Image: Maserati]

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4 of 117 comments
  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.