Chrysler Group will develop an electric version of the Fiat 500 small car for the United States in 2012, the company announced today.
The Fiat 500EV was shown in January at the Detroit auto show. Last year Chrysler announced plans to assemble the Fiat 500 with a 1.4-liter gasoline engine for North America. That vehicle, which will be built in Mexico, will debut late this year.
"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," Scott Kunselman, Chrysler's senior vice president of engineering, said in a statement. "The Fiat 500 is a small, lightweight platform perfect for integrating electric-vehicle technology."
The automaker said pricing will be announced closer to launch.
However, speaking at the Detroit auto show, Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said the 500EV concept would sell for about $32,000 if it went on the market, of which $16,000 covered the cost of the batteries.
Chrysler did not announce a production target for the 500EV. Marchionne said in November that Chrysler expects to produce about 56,000 electric vehicles annually by 2014.
Chrysler will handle Fiat Group's vehicle electrification program, the automaker said. Powertrain engineering and vehicle development will take place at Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.
Chrysler said it is exploring ways to promote zero-emission transportation and the development of an electric-vehicle charging infrastructure through partnerships to be announced.