While Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is dominating the electric vehicle (EV) industry with its charismatic Model S and plan to expand its supremacy with its techie Model X and stylist Model 3, other automakers and startups are still considering to manufacture a vehicle which would compete against the fledgling, American carmaker.
Bloomberg reported that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) Chief Sergio Marchionne, the anti-EV auto veteran, is now considering to introduce fully electric vehicles to its Fiat’s lineup. He thinks that the 2017 Maserati Alfieri sports car would be a Tesla competitor, directly competing against Tesla Roadster. He is also thinking of rolling out a “small city car” which may take on the Model 3.
Like previously stated on numerous occasions, he told Bloomberg TV that he might copy Tesla’s business model. Mr. Marchionne said: “I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it.”
“I think that to use one of our potential cars as an experiment in this area is interesting,” he added. Following the Volkswagen AG’s “dieselgate” scandal, almost every automaker, even those who do not believe in EV’s economic sense, are gearing towards electric/autonomous vehicles, following Tesla’s footsteps to ensure they do not breach more stringent carbon standards. This has been Tesla’s greatest achievement to accelerate sustainable transportation transition.
Fiat aims to produce first all-electric vehicle for the European market, whose luxury segment was dominated by Tesla Model S last year. Currently, it only sells Fiat 500e city car in North America. Interestingly, Mr. Marchionne suggested that his customers should not buy the 500e in 2014, as the company was losing $10,000 on each sale.
The executive also has more hybrids in his future plans, such as the Maserati Levante SUV and expects to offer hybrid versions of majority of the models to meet 2021 emission targets. He doesn’t expect to launch the electric Alfieri before his retirement as Fiat’s CEO in 2019. He still isn’t convinced that “electrification is the solution for all of man’s ills.” He advised that industry requires testing on different alternatives as EVs are not the only solution to the existing problem.