You’d think this isn’t part of Chrysler’s plan, but it is. Note the last paragraph below where Chrysler’s CEO admits the only reason they’re selling the 500e is to meet the government’s average fuel economy requirement:
The Fiat 500e is Chrysler’s first all-electric vehicle. The Fiat 500e is gearing up to go on sale, and last week Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne dropped a small bombshell when speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress: Chrysler will lose approximately $10,000 on every 500e sold.
Available only in California, the 500e serves Chrysler in many ways. It is a test-bed for Chrysler’s electric vehicle technology. Although the in-car entertainment technology is limited (much like the regular Fiat 500), the vehicle is targeted to the technologically-savvy set who want an electric vehicle in a stylish small city car. Lastly, it is a compliance vehicle for Chrysler to keep the company’s average fuel economy high. The cost of the 500e rings in at $32,500.
Marchionne makes no qualms about describing the 500e as a compliance vehicle for the requirement that the corporate average fuel economy for a manufacturer to be at 54.5mpg by 2025. Presently auto manufacturers producing alternative-fuel vehicles can earn credits they can apply to the average mileage rating. However, battery technology is expensive. Most manufacturers lose money when selling electric vehicles. It is believed Fisker loses a half a million dollars on each electric vehicle sold!
The rest here.