PHOTO CAPTION: Fiat Multipla Hybrid system that the company abandoned in the 1990s.

Fiat Criticized for Missing Electric Car Opportunity

Italy's environment minister Corrado Clini says Fiat management abandoned promising hybrid technology and ignored chance to supply electric components.

Published: 31-Jan-2012

MILAN (Dow Jones)--Italy's environment minister Tuesday criticized Fiat SpA (F.MI) for having missed a "great opportunity" offered by the growing use of electric cars in the world.

"The moment in which the global car market started to point towards hybrid technology, the Italian industry missed a great opportunity and this is a shame," Corrado Clini, a member of the country's technocratic government, told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

"A while ago, in the 1990s, [Fiat] put into production a hybrid Multipla with an electric control system that was more sophisticated than the Toyota Prius," he said. "It was a refined product and very efficient but Fiat at a certain point decided it was not interesting and stopped making it."


Fiat 500 EV

Fiat-Chrysler will launch sales of Fiat 500 electric car in United States starting in 2012.

Libya rebels pushing Gadhafi's custom Fiat 500 electric car.

Deposed Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi wanted to mass produce the electric car.

Fiat 500e electric car will have 100 miles range in city driving, 80 in mixed highway and city driving.

At 2980 pounds, the 500e is roughly 550 pounds heavier than a 500 coupe with an automatic transmission.


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