The FCA Reveals Their Plans for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles
Back in early June, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) released road maps for various brands, but also teased the automotive group’s intention of also finally entering the alternative fuel market full swing. The FCA Group also discussed autonomous self-driving vehicles; with the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid already making up the fleet of the only successful self-driving car, the Waymo, FCA already has a good head start. Now, FCA has finally released the details about their introduction to the two new auto markets.
Over the next five years, FCA released these specifics about their plans:
– Invest $10 billion into electric vehicle development between 2018 – 2022
– Place a larger focus on the breadwinners of the FCA Group: Jeep, Ram, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo
– Move away from diesels and methane-powered engines
– Produce 14 electric vehicles and four battery-electric vehicles for Jeep by 2021
– Mixing up SRT and electric vehicles by making performance-oriented electric vehicles
– Compete with Tesla by making electric versions of popular Maserati models
– Expand the Fiat 500e with a wagon model
So let’s take a look. Moving away from methane and diesel will help with the migration into the alternative fuel market, and with $10 billion to start, FCA finally has a good chance to start building hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles. For awhile now, the FCA Group was actually adamant about not producing electric or hybrid vehicles, but it’s kinda of funny. Sure, no one wants to drive a hybrid Dodge Charger, but electric motors are known for producing a lot of torque with a little energy – couldn’t Ram trucks and their towing capacity, or Jeep® vehicles and their off-road rock crawling, use a boost from electric torque?
Although the former CEO of FCA passed away, he gave the FCA Group a plan for entering the alternative fuel market going forward. Although the Fiat 500e suffered a bit, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid proved that FCA can make a winning alternative fuel vehicle. And being that over 60,000 Pacifica Hybrid units make up the Waymo self-driving fleet, FCA has claimed that the automotive group is working with Waymo to transfer the automotive vehicle technology used in the Chrysler/Waymo into a vehicle for retail consumer use. Sounds promising, but here’s hoping the first self-driving car for the auto market isn’t a minivan.
Maserati, Ram, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo are all starting to feel the pressure of other automakers that have proven all of their vehicles can be made as a hybrid or electric vehicle variant. How embarrassing! Even Tesla is shaking up Maserati with their Model S. To bite back, a Maserati EV is already in the works to fight with a little competition.
“Everything gets electrified. Look at our product portfolio and you see we’re going after Tesla.” – Tim Kuniskis, Head of Alfa Romeo and Maserati told NBCNews.
Maserati is clearly taking on the plan to produce electric vehicles in full force with the “Maserati Blue” Program that will redesign four cars, including the new gen flagship Quattroporte and the Levante SUV, as electric vehicles. The program also includes the all new all Alfieri BEV. Like other automakers, Maserati will test the waters for this BEV with a coupe first, and then a sedan. We’ve already seen inklings of hybrid technology in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL and 2019 Ram 1500 with eTorque, and the five-year plan for Jeep shows a lot of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric vehicles already on the table.
That just brings us to…SRT vehicles powered by electric motors?
EVs that Drive like Performance Cars
Hmm, kinda curious about this one actually. Apparently, Chrysler is looking at the success of the Street & Racing Technology (SRT) program and thinking of doing the same. They believe high-performance vehicles like the Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger Hellcat will still sit at the top of their vehicle class, but making hybrid and battery-electric vehicles with more gusto is definitely the strategy the FCA is going for. Doesn’t sound like a bad plan, if they can pull it off.
What do you think of all this? As we’ve said before, it’s not too late for FCA to enter the alternative fuel and autonomous car market. Let’s chat about it on Aventura CJDR social media.