Fiat-Chrysler’s Love-Hate Relationship With EVs

Not so long time ago the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, called EVs a "global threat" imploring people not to buy Fiat's sole EV because the company was losing $14,000 on each car. Today this company is planning to launch over 30 vehicles of with some kind of electrification estimating that 15-20% of it sales will be of models with EVs or fully hybrids. It's a $10.5 billion investment in which Fiat will focus on the Ram, Maserati and Alfa Romeo in an entirely different, plugged-in direction. 

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And what will Fiat do without Marchionne? I hold this stock and have to admit I'm rather concerned about who's going to take over next year...

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(edited)

Some guy built an electric motorcycle that does 0-60 in nine-tenth of a second. There is a video of it floating about on YouTube. 

Electric motorcycles built by Zero Corporation out in California consistently beat the gasoline ones in the annual Pike's Peak hill climb contest.  And the reason is that the characteristic of an electric motor is to have maximum torque when it has the lowest rpms.  So an electric will always out-accelerate a gasoline engine machine, as the torque curves favor the electric motor from the standing start.(Another reason that railroad locomotives went to electric drive a long time ago.) 

Getting back to the EV automobile, the big threat to the oil industry is that most cars run very short distances in a day.  Even a commute of less than three miles in America is done by car, as the streetcar/bus/subway fare is set to be much higher than the marginal cost of taking the car (assuming no charge for parking).  The distortions in the costing profile, introduced by bureaucrats who control planning and the transit systems, paradoxically keep auto usage at a peak. The EV is uniquely capable of displacing the gasoline car for these short runs, as it implies that a smaller, short-range battery can be fitted, thus lowering costs substantially. 

Using that as a starting point, you can see the Detroit embedded thinking process at work inside the Bolt and Volt from Chevrolet.  They worry about "range anxiety" and fit either a large battery (the Bolt) or a largish motor (the Volt). But if you built the car with a small battery, that can do 25 miles, and a very small gasoline or diesel motor, something two or three cylinder producing say 34 hp., then you have that auto that can do just about anything except a long trip and has the ability to re-charge on-site and get you home.  That does away with the recharger station conundrum, where there are and will be never enough charging ports.  The Hybrid, despite its complexity, if so fitted will be the dominant solution for decades to come, and if incorporated on a wide scale, will collapse oil sales. The vast amount of fuels being burned sitting at urban traffic lights - all wiped off the demand profile. 

P.S.  Before anyone suggests that a hybrid has to have an engine capable of running the car at highway speeds with a depleted battery, I remind readers that that is not true; all you need is the ability to re-charge in ten minutes or so, enough juice to allow the car to run 15 miles on both the engine and the reserve you have pumped into that battery bank, pulled combined.  So the user can re-charge while picking up a coffee, that puts something back into the battery, and then gently roll on back that 6-12 miles to the house, and plug in. You could accomplish that even with a single-cylinder motor of 337 cc., even an air-cooled motorcycle motor, so as to avoid the complexity of the water-cooled circuit. If you use a small single or 2-cyl. diesel than the reserve fuel tank is the source for a small burner to keep your car warm in the Winter without pulling on the battery bank  (and you fit a water coil around the battery to pump in heat in the winter). The fitting of a tiny air-cooled motor and a small battery keeps the weight out of the car, and that gives the user extended range right there.  Those concepts are lost on Americans. 

Edited by Jan van Eck
Added the P.S.
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