FCA, parent company of Dodge, has been slow in beginning their adoption of electric cars. Their only electric vehicles are not only compliance cars, they are some of the worst available. Former FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne, has even gone on record to tell consumers not to buy the Fiat 500e. The current FCA CEO, Michael Manley, has recently mentioned that Masarati will continue to offer combustion engines rather than shift towards all-electric. In Europe, FCA even plans on paying Tesla ~$2 billion in order to meet emission standards. Clearly, they are avoiding this electric car evolution at all costs.
But even with this perceived bias against electrification, FCA has still announced some plans moving through 2022. The company will spend 9 billion Euros ($10.5 billion) in the next 3 years in their push towards electrification.
Moving forward, it seems the tides have shifted and FCA is now starting to acknowledge consumer’s interests towards electric cars. Regarding electric performance cars, Tim Kuniskis, chief of passenger cars for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, told AutoNews this:
“I think the absolute future is electrification of these cars. That’s not necessarily bad. It could be [battery electric], it could be [plug-in hybrid], it could be regular hybrid, could be e-axles, any one of the number of electric technologies. But I am a firm believer that electrification will be the key to high performance in the future.”
We would have to agree. Seeing what electric car companies like Rimac and Tesla have been able to accomplish in a short span of time is eye opening. These electric performance cars are now neck and neck in specs with their combustion cousins. It is only a matter of time before affordable electric sports cars will blow away what Dodge has been able to accomplish with their Demon on a track.
Tim goes on to mention the current cost disadvantages:
“We don’t have the price points of the batteries down to a place where, quite honestly, it’s a mainstream proposition. You do see it in the upper end. You see it in the new Ferrari that just came out, you saw it in the LaFerrari before that, you saw it in the 918, you saw it in the NSX. So there’s absolutely a performance advantage to it, it’s just a question of when the consumer acceptance is going to be for that. And I think it’s going to be as soon as the price points come down, it becomes a mainstream viable option.”
While that might also be true, the cost of speed will drastically decrease as we innovate further. Today, the Tesla Model 3 Performance will beat a Dodge Challenger Hellcat to 60 mph even at a lower MSRP. Many are actively working towards cutting down electric performance costs and by FCA waiting around rather than working alongside everyone else, they will be left behind.