Chrysler to develop Fiat 500 based Electric Vehicle
25th March, 2010
- New Fiat 500EV demonstrates benefits of new alliance
- Department of Energy provides up to $48 million (USD) grant toward test fleet of 140 Ram Plug-in Hybrid
Chrysler Group LLC has announced its plans to engineer and manufacture a pure electric vehicle using the
Fiat 500 platform. Shown earlier this year at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show, the Fiat 500EV demonstrates the
benefits of the alliance between Chrysler Group and the Fiat Group as well as the speed at which the two
companies can work together on advanced vehicle programmes.
“The alliance with Fiat presented new opportunities to merge Chrysler Group engineering knowledge with
new platforms and the Fiat 500EV is an outstanding example of our efforts,” said Scott Kunselman, Senior
Vice President Engineering—Chrysler Group LLC. “The Fiat 500 is a small, light weight platform perfect
for integrating electric-vehicle technology.”
The Fiat 500EV powertrain is comprised of three main systems; high power electric powertrain module,
advance lithium ion battery, and an EV control unit to manage power flows. Beginning in 2012, Chrysler Group
will manufacture the Fiat 500EV for the United States market. All powertrain engineering and vehicle
development will take place at Chrysler Group headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Pricing will be
announced closer to launch, but will be competitive with similar electric vehicles in the market.
Chrysler Group is the vehicle electrification centre of competence for both Chrysler Group and Fiat Group.
The company is exploring ways to promote zero-emission transportation and the development of an
electric-vehicle charging infrastructure through partnerships to be announced in the future.
Last year Chrysler Group announced the company’s intention to build the Fiat 500 with a combustion engine
for North America. The vehicle will debut in late 2010.
Ram Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Chrysler Group has been selected for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant of up to $48 million (USD) as
part of a $2.4 billion (USD) American Recovery and Reinvestment Act DOE Vehicle Electrification programme.
Chrysler Group is planning to build a total of 140 Ram PHEVs for a three-year demonstration project that
includes various geographic and climatic locations across the United States.
“This initiative represents how government, automotive industry, suppliers and key partners are reaching
common goals and demonstrates how rapidly this type of advanced technology can be brought to market,” said
Paolo Ferrero, Senior Vice President—Powertrain, Chrysler Group LLC. “DOE-support for domestic advanced
technology is an important enabler for Chrysler Group and its key suppliers in order to understand and test
customer acceptance and the capability of PHEV systems in a variety of real-world conditions.”
The Ram PHEV features Chrysler Group’s 5.7 litre HEMI V-8 with a two mode hybrid transmission and a 12KwHr
lithium ion battery. The vehicle is capable of up to 32 kilometres of zero-emission, pure-electric range
without the need for petrol. An overall fuel economy improvement more than 65 per cent is expected for
average drive cycles. Chrysler Group has partnered with Electrovaya Inc. to supply the advanced lithium Ion
batteries for the Ram PHEV test fleet.
The DOE grant will expedite the development of vehicle-electrification technology. More than 21 Chrysler
Group partners across the U.S., including utility companies, government agencies and Universities will
independently test the Ram PHEV and provide valuable data for the advancement of the technology.
In 2008, Chrysler Group announced the company’s intention to bring a Ram Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) to
market. After closely evaluating the response to hybrid pick-up trucks in the marketplace, the company could
not formulate an appropriate business case and has decided to cancel development work on the 2011 Ram HEV.
Chrysler Group’s alliance with Fiat Group brings new platforms and technologies that allow the company to
provide an improved long-term product strategy with greater fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. Chrysler
Group’s five-year plan has an uncompromising product schedule, including a progressive vehicle electrification