Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has asked world governments to remain “technology neutral” during a speech at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress. Marchionne also noted that natural gas is “the cleanest alternative available” today. That’s not very neutral, is it?
Marchionne remarks were spurred on by Marchionne’s concerns that regulators, on a global scale, are pushing car manufactures towards electric vehicles. This is not allowing or encouraging other forms of alternative fueled vehicle exploration, even though other options, like CNG, may be better in the short term. In Europe, Fiat is a leading producer of CNG vehicles, though in the U.S. Chrysler is currently pushing diesel engines in a variety of vehicles.
During the event Marchionne stated that even with government subsidies, Fiat-Chrysler is currently losing $10,000 on every Fiat 500e that the company sells in the United States. That has got to sting.
If you are a frequent visitor to the site than you know the road has been very hard for EV manufactures. One has to look no further to the recent Fisker news as an example. In order for a business that is peddling a new product to thrive in such an uncertain global economy the business needs to be diverse and allowed room to grow depending on what the consumer wants.
That is what Marchionne is asking for – room to grow, without being forced to produce a certain expensive technology. EVs are not bad by any means, but the technology might not be the ultimate winner for the next mainstream automobile.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison