Could an electric Fiat 500 be creeping closer to production? Recent spy shots point to that being the case as an eerily quiet 500 test mule was seen gallivanting around U.S. streets. This has been a long time coming, as Chrysler promised an EV even before bankruptcy took a hold of the company. However this isn’t the first time a phantom 500 has been caught perusing the streets stateside as one was seen soon after the concept was originally unveiled.
As it stands now, the only EV to wear a Chrysler brand nameplate belongs to the Fiat 500 “Elettra” concept, which was shown off back in 2010 at the North American Auto Show. A year and a half later it appears a 500 EV is on its way to the production line. The 500 EV is expected to be powered by an electric motor rated at around 100 horsepower with a range between 80 and 100 miles.
Engineers have also worked on the drivetrain in-house at Chrysler’s Technical Center located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. According to Chrysler the price tag on the 500 Elettra will be competitive with other EV’s, but higher than that of a gasoline-powered 500. As previous reports have stated the Fiat 500 EV is expected to be made available to the public late in 2012 as a 2013 model.
Fiat has been reintroduced into the North American market after a 28 year hiatus, and the Fiat 500 made its debut at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. The current 500 is powered by a 1.4-liter inline-4 cylinder engine rated at 101 horsepower and an even smaller 98 lb-ft of torque.
Automotive.com’s take: We expected Fiat will have an electrified 500 ready for the masses for 2013 but its reception remains to be unseen. Smaller cars like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV are powered by an electric motor and have received harsh criticism struggling from the start to gain public praise and attraction.
Do you think an electric Fiat 500 has a future among electric vehicles or will it end up going by the wayside? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.