Bob Lee, head of Fiat and Chrysler global Powertrain said they are not interested in investing any more in electrified powertrains until consumers are willing to step up and pay for the technology.
Although they have on US soil an electrified version of the Fiat 500 (sold only in California for the same price as the gasoline one), Lee announced Chrysler and Fiat will broaden their North American lineup with more diesels and downsized, turbocharged gasoline engines.
While on floor at the 2013 CAR Management Briefing’s Advanced Powertrain Forum this morning, Lee said consumers don’t value hybrids and other electrified vehicles enough to pay for the added cost of battery packs, electric motors and chargers.
“Many customers want to reduce C02, but they aren’t willing to change their lifestyle or pay the cost – yet,” said Bob Lee.
Chrysler considers that diesels and smaller, but more powerful turbocharged gasoline engines are the fastest ways to rapidly improve the fuel economy of its fleet. Also, the engineers are out finding more efficiency by redesigning and improving the parts of the vehicle that are most energy inefficient.