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by Matt Brogan

Fiat/Chrysler has today announced that it plans to build an electric version of its Fiat 500 model for sale in the US from 2012.

The Fiat 500 EV (electric vehicle) will use a lithium ion battery pack but at this stage, no further technical specifications of the car have been released.

Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said at the Detroit Motor Show in January, where a concept model of the Fiat 500 EV was shown, that he expects the model would sell for about USD$32,000 (AUD$34,880). Half this cost being for the battery pack.

Chrysler plans to produce about 56,000 electric vehicles annually by 2014 with the Fiat 500 EV forming part of that effort.

“The Fiat 500EV is an outstanding example of our efforts: the Fiat 500 is a small, lightweight platform perfect for integrating electric-vehicle technology,” said Scott Kunselman, Chrysler’s senior vice president of engineering.

The Fiat 500 EV be proceeded by sales of a petrol-powered 500 model in the US this December. The car will be built in Mexico for the North American market.

Fiat are currently evaluating the commercial potential of its 500 EV in to other markets, including Europe, where rivals such as Peugeot and Citroen already have a head start. Both French manufacturers will offer an electric vehicle for sale in Europe by the end of this year. Volkswagen will follow in 2013.




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