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2010 Detroit Auto Show - Electric Fiat 500 EV "Just an Exercise"

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SEE ALSO: Complete 2010 Detroit Auto Show Press Pass Coverage

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
Amsterdam Bureau
The Auto Channel

Detroit January 12, 2010; Chrysler/Fiat hired a couple of good looking young ladies to stay close to the two 500s that are on display at the Italian part of the Chrysler stand.

The girls looked pretty much of Italian descent and did not have to do much, except for being nice to photographers, since Fiat/Chrysler had no presentations of any model or technology at all.

There even was no press material with information on one of the 500s, evidently an electric vehicle, and not even a little piece of paper.

But as you might as well guess this to be a prototype of an upcoming 500 BEV, we had to find out more.

Nick Cappa, Manager advanced technology communications was the one to shine a light on the mysterious EV: “You’ll have to see this car as an exercise for Chrysler. It will not go into production, that hasn’t even been considered.”

Since Chrysler unveiled several concepts for an electric vehicle, they implemented the system into the small Fiat to show that the group is able to build an emission free city car.

Within the alliance, is has been decided that Fiat is responsible for engines up to 1.8 litre. Chrysler will be concentrating on engines with a larger cylinder capacity than that, and will also focus on electric drive trains.

“This means that the electric 500 has been built by Chrysler, says Cappa. “On the other hand, Chrysler models, such as the Jeep Compass, will get the 2.4-liter motor that has Fiat’s new Multiair technology.”

Anyway it is clear that the little 500 is just a try-out of which no details are published. Cappa though, could tell us that the car accelerates from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and that the lithium-ion batteries are placed in a sandwich construction underneath the floor.

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“This EV has a weight of 2750 lbs which is much too much for such a small car. Fiat might rather consider electric models for its light commercial vehicles,” Cappa said.

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Fiat builds two light commercial vehicles, the Fiorino and the Doblo. The two heavier ones are the Scudo and Ducato.