Chrysler recently announced plans to build an electric version of the Fiat 500 in the United States. The minicar is slated to go on sale in the US in 2012. A prototype of the vehicle, called the Fiat 500EV, was on display at the latest Detroit Auto Show. The concept version utilized an electric motor along with a lithium-ion battery pack and electric vehicle-control unit to power it.
Chrysler’s senior vice-president of engineering Scott Kunselman said that a light, small platform like the Fiat 500’s is perfect for electric vehicle technology. Powering a car purely on an electric motor is easier to do in smaller, lighter vehicles.
Chrysler is set to release a gas-powered Fiat 500 in the United States later this year under the Fiat moniker.
In the same announcement, Chrysler revealed that it will also be producing a fleet of hybrid plug-in Dodge Ram pickup trucks. The automaker will receive up to $48 million in order to produce a fleet of 140 vehicles. The plug-in Ram will be powered by a 5.7-liter V-8 engine mated with a two-mode hybrid transmission and a lithium-ion battery pack. On a single charge the truck should be able to travel up to 20 miles on electric power alone.
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