The recent agreement between Chrysler and Fiat could have an impact on green car and battery startups.
The Chrysler Fiat deal, similar to the Renault Nissan deal awhile back could result in several of Fiat's small cars finding their way to the U.S. market in electric form. Though Renault Nissan plan to be a powerhouse in the electric car segment, Chrysler Fiat appear to take the small role in the near future.
Earlier this year, Chrysler turned to A123 Systems to supply batteries for their ENVI lineup of electric and plug-in vehicles including the Dodge and Chrysler Minivan, the Dodge Circuit, the Jeep Patriot, Jeep Wrangler and 200C.
Now that Fiat has joined the team, we will likely see compact and subcompact cars trickle into the U.S. from them. Some may be made as electric or plug-in versions. According to Fiat CEO Sergio Machionne, "The electric vehicle lineup could eventually get some lighter weight entries, based on Fiat's array of compact and subcompact platforms."
A broad group of electric vehicles will mean that steady supplies of batteries are needed. Supplies could come from A123 Systems or other competitors new to the game. This in turn could create more start up battery makers as companies try to keep up with the demand.
Chrysler goes before a bankruptcy judge soon. The judge may determine that an electric vehicle program is too costly for a bankrupt company and force them to cancel the program in its entirety. For now, Chrysler has put all EV plans on hold.