Who says the technology doesn't flow both ways? New reports suggest Fiat is looking to build an electric version of its retro-chic 500, and Chrysler may be in charge of developing the EV powertrain.
Autocar quotes Chrysler board member Alfredo Altavilla as saying the project is "going very well," and reported the electric powertrain would come from Chrysler's R&D groups. If true, this may be one of the first pieces of Chrysler's ENVI group to come to fruition.
Although the group has teased a number of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles at autoshows over the past two years, ENVI has yet to launch an eco-friendly vehicle into the market. Seeing as the 500 will be sold in America through Chrysler dealers, the little Fiat may make an ideal first vehicle. Not only can it be offered both here and in Europe, but it would also compete squarely against the electric Mini E (if it ever is offered as a production vehicle).
If it comes to fruition, the Chrysler-powered 500 wouldn't be the first electric take on the chic compact.A British firm prepared an EV variant as a concept for the 2008 British motor show.