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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the article:

“Between 2025 and 2030, our product lineup will gradually become electric only. This will be a radical change for Fiat,” Francois says.

It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what that means for the U.S. market, as Fiat is only hanging on by a shred here. The only 2021 model year car it sells now is the 500X. Both the 500L and 124 Spider are listed on Fiat’s website, but both are 2020 model year vehicles that aren’t being renewed. The regular 500 is long gone, and there’s no indication that the redesigned electric-only 500 is on its way.


Full article here:

Fiat announces an all-EV transition by 2030 | Autoblog
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I believe it means that Fiat is going to be much more Euro-centric and less global, which is the right move.

Fiat has burned its reputation in North America. Maybe offering electric Fiats near large urban areas would be OK, but generally, this tells me that Fiat is dead in North America.
 
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Has Fiat (or Peugeot) figured out how to make a decent profit with EVs? Apparently VW hasn’t according to this article:
Granted, there is an opposing view arguing it is due to U.S. pricing:

Will be interesting to look at the earnings reports over the next few years. This is not meant for another EV vs ICE discussion rather asking about the profitability of EVs and the implications on companies making them (unless the business model is to sell credits to more polluting industries). Technology will help bring cost down but also introduces another challenge: inventory management. You don’t want to create the Osborne effect with thousands of vehicles on dealer lots...

The Fiat 500 EV does seem to get good reviews. Will be interesting to see what other models they have planned. I think its emotion inspiring designs helps.
 

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I believe it means that Fiat is going to be much more Euro-centric and less global, which is the right move.

Fiat has burned its reputation in North America. Maybe offering electric Fiats near large urban areas would be OK, but generally, this tells me that Fiat is dead in North America.
Once again we see Europeans talking about their market and saying nothing about the rest of the world. Fiat can go away in North America and not be missed outside of the people who own / work at dealerships. There is no way Fiat is going away in South America, and there is no way they are going to start at $29K like the new 500 does in the UK.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once again we see Europeans talking about their market and saying nothing about the rest of the world. Fiat can go away in North America and not be missed outside of the people who own / work at dealerships. There is no way Fiat is going away in South America, and there is no way they are going to start at $29K like the new 500 does in the UK.
Fiat's future is set by Olivier Francois, an FCA loyalist. They cannot blame Tavares or the French if this all-electric plan goes badly in LatAm.

If he does not intend to make Fiat all-electric in LatAm, then he needs to learn how to speak clearly to the press.
 

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Has Fiat (or Peugeot) figured out how to make a decent profit with EVs? Apparently VW hasn’t according to this article:
Granted, there is an opposing view arguing it is due to U.S. pricing:

Will be interesting to look at the earnings reports over the next few years. This is not meant for another EV vs ICE discussion rather asking about the profitability of EVs and the implications on companies making them (unless the business model is to sell credits to more polluting industries). Technology will help bring cost down but also introduces another challenge: inventory management. You don’t want to create the Osborne effect with thousands of vehicles on dealer lots...

The Fiat 500 EV does seem to get good reviews. Will be interesting to see what other models they have planned. I think its emotion inspiring designs helps.
Tavares spoke about the profitability and affordability:

"Governments must consider the need to keep cars affordable for the masses and the full lifecycle impact of a vehicle when mandating the switch to full electrification."

“If we succeed in making the vehicles affordable, safe and clean, then the manufacturing footprint won’t be different as the size of the market will be similar or bigger," he said.
"If we couldn't keep these vehicles affordable, that would impact the size of the market and then we would need to adjust the manufacturing footprint.

""Then we’re left with affordability: how to protect freedom of mobility for the middle classes who can’t afford a €30,000 EV when today they pay half of that.” Cost parity between ICE cars and EVs could be possible in the future, said Tavares, but less certain is the ability to protect the profit margins on those cars. “If we can’t protect margins on each EV we sell versus today, there will be consequences,” he said. “If we can't protect margins, there will be restructuring and there will be social consequences.""

“The challenge isn't zero emissions but a challenge on affordability, to protect margins and avoid significant social consequences.”

 

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Concern about affordable cars, that is exactly what spend everything on Alfa Sergio lacked.
It was his strategy. He felt affordable cars would be made unprofitable the day the first Chinese automaker started selling in North America. He may have been right, but ahead of his time.

The serious problem facing all major automakers outside of China today is the investment China is making in BEVs and PHEVs. I believe BYD is the world's largest maker of electric buses by over a hundred to one. Everyone is justifiably afraid that really good batteries will be invented - and whoever isn't ready will end up with United Slide Rule Ltd. and Standard Punched Cards, Inc.
 

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Yes, batteries are the future, and whoever comes up with the EV battery that can get almost all of its pixies in under 5 minutes (200 miles in a sedan worth in 5 minutes), reliably and regularly without rapid degradation, will be the company that everyone else wishes to be. Tesla has been trying to push for this but also branch out into autonomous driving in case it misses that mark (or even if it hits it, because who wants to drive on these overly crowded roads and crumbling infrastructure?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Marchionne never cared about affordability. He wanted to only play in niches where there was less competition because the vehicles did not need to be better than everyone else. He could ride the growth wave with less investment.

Marchionne never cared about electrification. He tried to do it on the cheap with the flawed Pacifica Hybrid. He did not invest into being an electrification leader, he just wanted to buy it from someone else.

Marchionne never cared about leading in any area. He was happy being a follower and picking up whatever scraps he could along the way.

The only thing Marchionne wanted to lead was the largest auto manufacturer in the world (the merger with GM) and that was to feed his massive, flawed and corrupt ego.
 

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If one of the worlds automakers develops the holy grail of batteries and the others don't, well who knows what will happen then. With the "way" China develops it's technology they may well be the one. Then whoever wants those batteries will pay a very large royalty. America may well make one, who knows, but it's not a given that our auto industry will benefit first if it's a non automotive company that discovers it. They will sell to the highest bidder wherever that happens to be.
 

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If one of the worlds automakers develops the holy grail of batteries and the others don't, well who knows what will happen then. With the "way" China develops it's technology they may well be the one. Then whoever wants those batteries will pay a very large royalty. America may well make one, who knows, but it's not a given that our auto industry will benefit first if it's a non automotive company that discovers it. They will sell to the highest bidder wherever that happens to be.
I am betting on a university-plus-government breakthrough that will be licensed to everyone. I do think your China-vs-America comparison is apt, but China wouldn't bother licensing when they can hack in and steal it.
 

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I am betting on a university-plus-government breakthrough that will be licensed to everyone. I do think your China-vs-America comparison is apt, but China wouldn't bother licensing when they can hack in and steal it.
I hope you're right. Then it would benefit everyone. A lot of important breakthroughs were discovered by accident. Maybe that will happen here.
 

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I hope you're right. Then it would benefit everyone. A lot of important breakthroughs were discovered by accident. Maybe that will happen here.
As I've said before, if you read ArsTechnica regularly, you will see report after report of promising technologies, along with the disclaimers not to get too excited... but solar panels got better slowly and incrementally until today they are very inexpensive at utility scale; gasoline engines, pretty much the same slow increase in efficiency over time. It's hard to believe today how proud Chrysler was when their straight-six car hit 70 mph; now, the cheapest, slowest car you can buy will easily pass 80. (Or just look at the slant six to Pentastar changes. Yes, there were a number of sudden leaps, but there was not a single leap from 100 to 305 horsepower. Batteries have been expanding like that - and computer chips, in recent years, since I "think" Moore's Law broke a while back.)
 

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As I've said before, if you read ArsTechnica regularly, you will see report after report of promising technologies, along with the disclaimers not to get too excited... but solar panels got better slowly and incrementally until today they are very inexpensive at utility scale; gasoline engines, pretty much the same slow increase in efficiency over time. It's hard to believe today how proud Chrysler was when their straight-six car hit 70 mph; now, the cheapest, slowest car you can buy will easily pass 80. (Or just look at the slant six to Pentastar changes. Yes, there were a number of sudden leaps, but there was not a single leap from 100 to 305 horsepower. Batteries have been expanding like that - and computer chips, in recent years, since I "think" Moore's Law broke a while back.)
Moore's law never applied to batteries. Thee is no battery equivalent. Batteries are steps and plateaus, and you never know when the next step will come.

" Most forecasters, including Gordon Moore,[125] expect Moore's law will end by around 2025.[126][123][127] Although Moore’s Law will reach a physical limitation, many forecasters are optimistic about the continuation of technological progress in a variety of other areas, including new chip architectures, quantum computing, and AI and machine learning."

 

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Moore's law never applied to batteries. Thee is no battery equivalent. Batteries are steps and plateaus, and you never know when the next step will come.

" Most forecasters, including Gordon Moore,[125] expect Moore's law will end by around 2025.[126][123][127] Although Moore’s Law will reach a physical limitation, many forecasters are optimistic about the continuation of technological progress in a variety of other areas, including new chip architectures, quantum computing, and AI and machine learning."

I never suggested Moore's Law did apply to batteries. I was very, very, very, very, very obviously NOT suggesting Moore's Law. I don't know how I could have been more obvious because that was my entire thesis, that batteries have been advancing like solar panels - a few percentage points per year, with the occasional little jumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Solar panels are eyesores.

If you want to contain CO2, plant the same area in trees or other vegetation and you have reduced atmospheric CO2 more than by using solar power to generate electricity.

Cutting trees and destroying vegetation so you can cover tens of thousands of acres in solar panels is not rational. Yes, they are clearing forests and other areas to put up wind turbines or solar panels. That is insanity.

Trees and other vegetation absorb CO2 naturally. Why is this not part of the solution?
 
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Solar panels are eyesores.

If you want to contain CO2, plant the same area in trees or other vegetation and you have reduced atmospheric CO2 more than by using solar power to generate electricity.

Cutting trees and destroying vegetation so you can cover tens of thousands of acres in solar panels is not rational. Yes, they are clearing forests and other areas to put up wind turbines or solar panels. That is insanity.

Trees and other vegetation absorb CO2 naturally. Why is this not part of the solution?
And they do it on still cloudy days.
 
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