Is The Fiat 500e Really Worth It?
Recently, Chrysler announced they were introducing an electric version of the Fiat 500. Called the Fiat 500e, it’s just like a regular 500 except for the obvious powertrain difference. Not many details are available about it yet. However, I think Fiat/Chrysler is killing themselves on this one. For starters, Sergio Marchionne said Fiat will be losing $8,000-$9,000 per car, since manufacturing costs for battery-powered cars are still very high. Additionally, despite federal sales incentives, electric car sales are very flat, with minimal growth projected in the next few years. So why is Fiat/Chrysler doing this? One word: California. The Golden State has been known for excessive car restrictions for carbon emissions, however, requiring all automakers to offer electric cars is rather ridiculous. This forces certain automakers, who know that electric cars are money pits to sell them anyway and absorb the loss. Electric cars are still at least a decade away from being economically viable. Gasoline-powered cars have reached a point where they are burning less oil. The main weakness of the electric car is the batteries. They’re still heavy, bulky and expensive, which makes the prices skyrocket. Until that situation improves, I think carmakers would do well to focus on their regular cars and put electric cars on the side burner. In addition, California and other government agencies need to take a step back and stop pushing the electric car so hard. Guest writer: Andrew Seifert