After bringing an electric concept version of the Fiat 500 to the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, rumors have swirled that Chrysler would eventually make the 500EV a reality. Sure enough, today Chrysler took off the wraps on their plans to bring an all-electric version of the 500 to US shores by 2012.
Will these new EV plans stick, or is it just another round of vaporware?
As far as those in the know were concerned, those cars were complete vaporware without a hint of sincerity behind them. It was all clearly designed as a publicity stunt to secure the much needed public and political support to save the company’s bacon. Naysayers seemed to be proven right after Fiat gave Chrysler a new lease on life and the ENVI unit disappeared from the Chrysler lexicon. In Chrysler’s new roadmap to solvency, there was no mention of one single electric car.
At that point, those of us that see electric cars as one of the main ways to get us off our addiction to oil kind of gave up on Chrysler. When the Fiat 500 EV concept showed up in Detroit, things started to get interesting again. But I remain skeptical… especially since the details surrounding the 500EV are scarce. All we know at this point is that it will be electric, and the electric drivetrain will be engineered in the US. Seriously, that’s it. Given that we’re only two years away from introduction, scarce details can’t mean anything good.
An electric 500 would sure be a slick ride though, so I’ve got my fingers crossed. Even if Fiat-Chrysler can’t actually pull it off, you still have Atomik waiting in the wings.
You can check out the full press release on the next page.