Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne hasn’t been the biggest ally to electric and electrified cars. He’s even told consumers not to buy the Fiat 500e because of the copious amounts of cash lost on each one sold.
However, electric cars are beginning to cement themselves as the future. Despite the aggressive electrifications push, Marchionne believes electric powertrains are not the way forward. The CEO told Bloomberg the industry must be open to a range of zero-emission solutions.
“Because of the time-frame chosen in Europe, we have to electrify,” Marchionne said. “But if you tell me that this is the answer, I say no.” He added, as carmakers choose from a range of zero-emission powering systems, “we need to be absolutely open about the technology solution which would prevail.”
European countries, such as Norway, the Netherlands, France and the UK, have released plans to ban the sale of new vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines in the coming decades, which leaves automakers no choice but to adhere to regulations. FCA previously said Maserati will become a fully-electrified brand beginning in 2019.
This isn’t to say Marchionne wants to stick to fossil fuels. The executive felt there must be a zero-emission solution, but remained bearish on electric cars in general.
“The biggest fear that I see is that we will be left behind,” Marchionne said. “We are a very slow industry; for us to make a decision takes forever.” In contrast, “take Tesla: Elon moves at the speed of a rocket.”