Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne claims that for every 500e sold, the company loses $10,000 even after all the subsidies. Marchionne disclosed this at his recent speech in Detroit at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress. Marchionne had said that to comply with fuel economy regulations, automakers have to concentrate on several alternative fuel technologies.
He said losing this much on a big scale will be “masochism to the extreme.” At the present, new car fleets have to average 28 to 30 mpg. By 2016, cars have to meet an average rating of 35.5 mpg and by 2025, this goes up to 54.5 mpg. Automakers are able to earn government credits when they offer alternative-fuel vehicles like hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs.
However, Marchionne is anxious about the possibility that government incentives for electric vehicles will be considered to be the best alternative-powertrain method. He is urging for “technological neutral” regulation. Initially, the Fiat 500e will be sold in California. It has a starting price of $32,500 before government incentives like $7500 federal tax credits and those given by California and local governments.
Fiat 500e has an EPA rating of 122/108 mpge city/highway and comes with a range of 87 miles. It has an output of 111-hp and 134-lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the bigger Ford Focus EV has an EPA rating of 110/95 mpg and has a range of 76 miles. Chrysler has made more fuel-economy improvements with the eight-speed automatic in models like the Ram 1500, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Charger. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee will soon get a nine-speed automatic.
The newest offering from Fiat, the 2014 500e, is able to redefine how electric vehicles (EVs) should be styled, given it has a design that has been improved graphically, with those iconic proportions, and Italian curves sculpted in the wind tunnel. In addition, it also adds to the reputation of automotive efficiency Cinquecento has achieved worldwide for at least 55 years.
That’s not all as offering the e-Sport Package meant that this model would have a blacked-out and more aggressive look. This also provides a clue to the sporty qualities of this vehicle.
According to the brand, the designers and engineers set the objective minimizing the drag but making sure that the Cinquecento’s iconic style was retained. The well-known features of Fiat 500 are present like the “whiskers and logo” appearance that come with the bi-halogen headlamps, as well as the fog lamp and lower park lamp. With this, the 2014 500e is able to continue the familiar design language of FIAT.
Under this, there is the two-piece front fascia whose elements include that very distinct sculpted surface which results in lowering the drag. It even helps the electrical components of this model get the needed cooling through the airflow inlets. Further, with the dot-matrix patterned lower fascia, the 2014 500e evokes that futuristic theme that was what made the first Cinquecento highly popular.
As extra detail, the vehicle’s fascia insert has the “500e” logo and the projector-beam fog lamps. For those familiar with the brand, improving the vehicle’s aerodynamics through the use of a retro-futuristic is not something new. This is the same as that of the design of the models released during the 1960s. Fiat revealed as well that the 2014 500e has the iconic Cinquecento cues and the urban-friendly proportions first seen in the 500 hatchback version.
However for this latest offering, it adds in the retro-futuristic style with an aerodynamic treatment that is clearly more purposeful. This serves to highlight the environment-friendliness of the vehicle’s battery-electric capability.
Regarding this new model, Head of FIAT Style Roberto Giolito commented that with many designers always projecting what the future could be like, the brand went back and studied many of the contemporary design motifs that came about when the iconic Cinquecento first came out.
He added that with the more aerodynamic profile, the Electrico Arancione, and the dot-matrix gradient patterns, the new 500e gets a retro-futuristic style to it which complements the zero-emission powertrain and the hi-tech propulsion.