Fiat / Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has revealed that they will lose £7k on every electric Fiat 500 they sell. Despite upping the price to over £30k.
I know. We bang on about how impractical electric cars are as a replacement for ICE cars. And it’s true. They only work as a toy for the better off, or in a city environment. And then only if you’re prepared to pay through the nose to run the EV. It’s an expensive hobby.
We did a comparison last year between the Peugeot iON and a Peugeot 107. The difference between annual running costs on the two cars would buy you a family holiday in the Seychelles every year. In favour of the C1. Which is the reality of Electric Cars.
A reality brought in to very clear focus by Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne, who has confessed that for every electric Fiat 500 that gets sold in the US from next year Fiat/Chrysler will lose $10,000. And that’s after tripling the price of the electric 500 to $45,000.
Marchionne did say that the Fiat-Chrysler exposure won’t be huge because they won’t sell many. There’s a surprise. He also said the same sums would apply in Europe when the Fiat 500 EV launches here in 2013. Another surprise.
What it will do though is cut Chrysler’s US average fuel consumption figure (saving money) and – as the EU is busy skewing all things EV and carbon-related – they can count the emissions and economy for all EVs as counting as 3.5 cars. What a nonsense.
We’ll say it again. Battery-powered electric cars are a road to nowhere. Battery technology is not remotely up to the job and there is no chance – in any reasonable timeframe – that batteries will be able to deliver a useful range or a sensible recharge time.
The best short term solution is diesel or hybrids for reducing our reliance on oil. But they both have downsides.
The diesels are too polluting on the stuff that actually matters – Nox and particulates – and hybrids are really too complicated and expensive, and only work as a performance enhancer unless you’re prepared to drive as if you’re frightened of breathing.
The only long-term solution is hydrogen fuel cells.