Fiat is planning to bring its Compressed Natural Gas powerplants under the hood of Chrysler models, in order to offer an eco motoring alternative on the U.S. market until the American brand starts selling electric vehicles in 2012, as Detroit News writes.
Fiat and Chrysler’s CEO Sergio Marchionne, together with Paolo Ferrero, a former Fiat executive who now leads Chrysler’s powertrain division, have debuted a campaign for natural gas Chrysler in the country in an effort to receive government support for biofuels and infrastructure.
"Today, natural gas is a rational alternative to gasoline that can provide a near-term environmental solution on the road to vehicle electrification," Marchionne said, stressing the fact that the fuel offers benefits such as a 25 percent emissions reduction and a 25 percent tax cut compared to gasoline.
Fiat introduced the Natural Power range 10 years ago in Europe, with the vehicles also being well received in South America. The natural gas engine range includes a wide variety of powerplants used on all types of vehicles.
Fiat has brought a natural gas Panda model to a conference that was recently held in Novi, in order to use the vehicle for test drives. Last year, Fiat sold a total of 130,000 natural gas vehicles in Europe, with the Panda accounting for 60,000 units.
Using natural gas brings fuel cost savings of 60 compared to gasoline and 40 percent compared to diesel. This allows the CNG version of the Panda to account for a third of the range’s sales in Europe.