Maserati Takes the Lead in Fiat Chrysler’s Push To Electrify its Product Lines

Maserati Alfieri concept car to go fully electric

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne has revealed that every Maserati made from 2019 onwards will have some form of electric propulsion, starting with the Maserati Alfieri. Over time, the entire line-up of brands – Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge and Alfa Romeo – would see gradual electrification through 2022, when they expect about 50% of their models to be electrified.

The Maserati Alfieri concept will be the first model to be electrified and is expected to be released in 2020. It made its first appearance at the Geneva Auto Show in 2014. Maserati will divert all of its power train investments to electric after the next two models are released, said Marchionne.

For now, the company will use its existing platform to create plug-in hybrid models, of which the Maserati Levante SUV is the most likely candidate to be the first to go hybrid.

Maserati Europe boss Giulio Pastore told Autocar last year: “The current platform allows for hybrid. We are working on it for 2019, when we will be ready to offer hybridisation.”

Marchionne was unusually candid about FCA’s approach to electric vehicles:

“We have been reluctant to embrace that avenue until we saw clearer the path forward.”

Unfortunately, Marchionne, who retires in 2019 at the age of 67, will not be spearheading FCA’s electric future.

Most major automakers around the world are turning towards electrification, notably Volkswagen, which has committed to converting its entire product line to electric over the next several years. Every carmaker today is looking at some depth of electric offerings for their future models, with timelines varying from aggressive half-decades to not-so-ambitious twenty years from now.

As iconic brands accept that the future of cars is no longer fossil fuels, some are still holding out as long as they can. Others, like Ferrari, have given in despite their earlier disdain for going electric. Ferrari recently unveiled its hybrid electric La Ferrari Aperta to much acclaim, but the company is still against going fully electric, arguing that the sound of a Ferrari is very important to its customers.

Fair enough. However, there’s no place for diesel and petrol in the new era of automobiles, and we can all thank Elon Musk for making it happen. German automakers who previously laughed at his efforts are now scrambling to beat their peers to the punch.

The future is clear; the future is electric. How long can the others hold out?

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