Fiat-Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne doesn't think electric cars, Tesla are viable


Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne

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The question of electric cars and their profitability remains a major factor as automakers and brands move to electrify vehicle portfolios.

While many automakers commit to an all-electric future through various sources of electrification, one remains skeptical of the business model: Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles.

In fact, FCA's CEO Sergio Marchionne, dumped cold water on electric cars' viability—cars many consider the answer to rising emissions and curbing climate change.

DON'T MISS: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: first drive of plug-in hybrid minivan

Speaking to reporters on Monday, the FCA executive said there is no viable economic model for electric cars and used Tesla as an example.

"We still don't have a viable economic model for delivering an electric car," Marchionne said.

Despite a shift to electric cars, Marchionne believes the business model isn't ready to support widespread adoption, according to The Street.

2017 Fiat 500e

2017 Fiat 500e

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FCA's current vehicle portfolio reflects the CEO's beliefs; Ram and Jeep prop up FCA with sales of SUVs and trucks, of which none are electrified.

The Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid is the automaker's sole product sold nationwide to feature some sort of electrification.

Although FCA sells the Fiat 500e electric car, it's exclusive to California to meet the state's electric-car regulations.

READ THIS: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid gets ad support from Sesame Street characters

Marchionne famously urged consumers to not buy the electric car and said FCA loses thousands of dollars on each one sold.

Strangely enough, the 500e is the fastest-selling used car in America.

Pointing to Tesla, arguably the most successful automaker to put drivers in electric cars, Marchionne said the business model simply isn't feasible.

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

Enlarge Photo

"As much as I like Elon Musk, and he's a good friend and actually he's done a phenomenal job of marketing Telsa, I remain unconvinced of a ... economic viability of the model that he's pitching."

Until the cost of batteries and technologies associated with electric cars drops, the CEO believes electric cars are not the industry's answer.

However, with Europe's reassessment of diesel-powered cars, Marchionne will likely embrace the inevitable; the automaker will not be able to rely on diesel cars to meet corporate average fuel-economy requirements.

CHECK OUT: Electric cars are some of fastest-selling used vehicles in the U.S.

FCA plans to electrify more cars as it renews its vehicle lineup in coming years.

The automaker plans for additional electrified cars for 2019 or later, and Maserati will likely lead the charge.

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