Fiat Working on New Small Car Hybrid Platform

by Benjamin Jones on April 27, 2009

Fiat small hybrid car

Small cars get the best gas mileage. So do hybrids. So wouldn’t a small hybrid get really good gas mileage? Something like, say, a Fiat 500 hybrid? Fiat certainly thinks it’s a good idea.

Up until now price has been the major opposition to small hybrids. Small car buyers tend to be cheap car buyers, so it has always been assumed that the “hybrid tax” would be too much for many people to buy a small hybrid car.

However, recent years have seen a resurgence of small cars with all kinds of buyers. Small cars are now a way to reduce environmental impact and not just wallet impact. This, coupled with decreasing hybrid system and battery prices, has made the small car hybrid economically viable.

When Fiat is done with their design, it will likely be coupled to their new 900cc turbocharged engine. This combination would have good torque and plenty of horsepower while delivering stellar mileage in the city.

And here’s the kicker: they plan to share the technology with Chrysler. So, even though we won’t be getting a Fiat 500 anytime soon, I’m certainly looking forward to seeing something using this technology on Chrysler’s showroom floor.

Source: Treehugger

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1 Brett Chandler April 30, 2009 at 9:47 am

Actually, I don’t like small hybrids. The bigger and heavier the vehicle, the more viable the technology.

Why? Hybrid tech adds weight and complexity. In a sub-compact, this tends to negate a lot of the benefit you get from choosing that smaller form-factor to begin with. The current GMC Yukon/Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is actually a great hybrid; it’s large enough to make packaging batteries easy, and that battery pack doesn’t add disproportionately to the weight of an already heavy vehicle.

Even better, larger, heavier vehicles benefit more from regenerative braking, since they have so much more momentum to capture.

2 Benjamin Jones April 30, 2009 at 10:19 am

Even so, they’re not providing fuel efficient vehicles. Someone with no family who lives in the city and wants to save gas isn’t going to be a truck, regardless. But city mileage would be improved tremendously if the small car they would buy anyway included an electric motor to take the stress of slowly and stopping off of the gasoline engine.

3 Uncle B May 28, 2009 at 1:08 pm

The horrendous inflation/devaluation of the dollar has already begun. Very soon, oil will jump exponentially to new all time highs, as our dollar sinks even with respect to the new Asian World Currency, the “Yuan” As the world adjusts to the new American reality, we will be forced to face the impracticality of metal bodied cars, and require desperately small cheap plug-in battery driven plastic ultralight commuters to keep us dry, from train terminal to home, and shop to home. The “Glory Days” are over! Good-Time Charlie is broke. Americans no longer produce enough to justify what they consume. The Uber-Rich of America have fled, taking factories, patents, and capital with them, to the Shanghai and other Asian markets. All is converted to the magical, Asian backed “Yuan” and the mighty American dollar is tumbling in value as we speak! Even little Canada, a speck on the face of the financial world, has a dollar approaching unity with the sawbuck! A very small hybrid Fiat will be considered a great luxury in a walking America. Soon, tandem two-seater carbon fiber ultralight plug-in commuter cars will appear and flourish on a market bereft of the behemoths of yesteryear! The SUV is dead! GM its progenitor has been castrated and lies dying! The big Chrysler’s, Desotos, Plymouths, Dodges, and Fargo’s of old are but a memory now. Save for a few Uber-Rich,with money in the bank, no-one in America has the cash to pay for more than survival fare! We are broke, the country is broke, the markets are back, so we continue, with unemployment, under-employment, a “Green Obama Dream” and change – The status quo has been broken! Never to return! we are going through “The Change”! Brace yourselves to make personal sacrifices in the name of a practical socialism, and extremely high prices. We are about to be devalued to the tune of at least 3 Trillion
dollars – an astounding amount, and in a very short time. We must convert our lawns and parks to veggie gardens to feed the hungry – US! Look to chicken raising, Aquaculture, veggie plots and composting, because the price of oil is about to put the Status Quo out of reach for most Americans, and the factories, once our life-blood and saviors in hard times, have all been moved to Asia! Don’t fool yourselves, the family farms are gone, the forests are gone, the wildlife is gone, and so are the breed of men that were conditioned to exploit them! We are a pasty faced, air conditioned drugged boozed up, car driven, well washed bunch of computer operators and the like – with no survival skills outside the office space! We have specialized ourselves to the point of extinction, and may well die, huddled in front of our McMansions, praying before our SUV’s for one more mile! It is over, America, Over, save for the Hybrid Fiat, we have no hope!

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