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Stop-gap EV purchase - Fiat 500e

Headlines: "FIAT 500e Sold out in California"

"What!" I franticly called my closest dealer to cry, " I didn't even get a chance to buy one! What happened?"

Dealer Reply: "No need to worry we (the dealers) purchased all of the cars that FIAT manufactured"

"How many were manufactured?"

"3,000" Equating to a $30,000,000 loss for chrysler group according to FIAT's CEO.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732374460457847111058577886...

So, I am looking to Lease a car that it's own CEO would rather not sell me. What a paradox compared to the ever proud Musk presenting features of the Model S. And that is what made me curious about NADA. Is it fair that dealers got to buy all of the manufacturers cars before I got a chance to buy one?

Anyway back to the dealer shenanigans. I ask well if there are so few cars can I get on a waiting list?

One Dealers Reply: " We already have 30 cars with $500 down payments so yes you can get on the list!"

Another Dealers Reply: " No you can't put money to hold a car. That would be illegal! That other dealer is breaking the law and can be sued if they don't deliver you a car. If a dealer takes money down they have to attach it to a VIN number or it is illegal."

I ask, " What about chargers? I rent my house what options do I have for getting a charger at my home? Can I take it with me if I move?"

Dealers Reply, " Charging is your problem. Call this (such and such) local installer and they will install for about $2000" I couldn't believe he actually said charging was my problem, even though I guess that is a true statement. Just bad form.

Then I look at the map of electric chargers on FIATs website http://www.fiatusa.com/en/2013/500e/

And thought to myself... Awesome! There is a charger right next to my job. Wrong! I basically found one of these...

http://jalopnik.com/in-any-case-outlet-mall-shopping-and-public-ev-charg...

Apparently the map on FIAT's website is just a google search for EV charge stations. Many of which don't even qualify as a charger since the cars they were meant to charge largely don't exist.

So, at my home I have 10amp circuits on my circa 1920's rental house waiting for the chance to charge my new 500e on 120v for 23 hours that will give me approximately 87 miles on a charge.

Please TESLA!! Defeat NADA and continue a direct to consumer buying experience and not-for-profit service plan! For now I think I will hold off on buying the FIAT and just continue saving for GENIII.

I test drove a FIAT 500e at REFUEL 2013. It's a decent little car. Quite peppy, as one would expect from an EV, and nible. Very much like my LEAF in many respects, but smaller and with a tad more power. Other than WHO makes it, I would have no hesitations with it.

I had no idea that they are loosing 10,000 per car. Good to know. I just hope that Tesla can really make 25% gross margin on Model S, that would convince any car manufacturer, including FIAT.

My wife and I stopped in to Peel Chrysler to see if they might be able to get her a 500e. They haven't even called us back to let us know whether Canada will ever get this vehicle.

Oh well, I'm trying to convince her she'd be better off with a Gen III or (if she's really hard up for a new car) a Model X in 2014.

It seems to be that the market won't bear what it costs to produce a ~100-150 km range BEV. But it will eagerly bear what it costs to produce a ~250-300+ km BEV, even though that's a much higher figure.

Considering objectively most drivers' daily range requirements, that is not altogether reasonable. But a BEV that is below that cut-off smashes up against the "range anxiety" brick wall and fails.

PHEVs are not the solution, apparently; the Volt also loses GM money for each one sold, and it's not at all clear they can "make it up on volume". It's not clear there is a high-end PHEV market, as the Karma failure demonstrates (though design and QC problems cloud that analysis).

The Prius absorbed billions in R&D and losses before it became "profitable" after 17 years. It's not clear whether Japanese and other subsidies are assumed in that, even now.

So it seems that TM's plan to be in the black in Q4 discounting all government support programs is unique. It is also wise, and necessary, as such support dependence commits a firm to the permanent role of "rent-seeker", and leads to cultivating a needy and crippled image, which becomes real all too easily. Governments change, have budget crises, and sometimes become tired of discretionary spending without electoral payoff. Freedom from lobbying (usually consisting of approximately equal portions of begging and bribing) such fickle paymasters is golden.

@Jewsh, It will be interesting to see the BMW i3 being announced at the end of the month also.

I keep looking at the i3 and thinking it would be so much better if it were more like the Model S in terms of range, looks, ease of use. Then I realize why don't I just get a Model S or X then?

Even with the range extender the i3 has a short run!

Got to have fast chargers for every brand of electric, everywhere, before people buy them in great enough numbers to get the price down.

And battery technology is going to have to make batteries cheaper and quicker to charge. Range is nice, but without having quick chargers everywhere people will shy away.

The current crop of entry level electrics are special-builts, almost prototypes and it costs a fortune for a big company to get them out to the public.

You could lease a rav4 ev right now for $400/month with 0 down. Give it back in 3 years and buy a bluestar.

I have one...my wife drove one of my boys to summer camp last weekend. 120 miles RT. She stopped on the way to run some errands and had about 25 miles left coming back. She then went to a graduation party before going home to recharge.

Mike

Tesla is selling, or will, batteries and drivetrains to Toyota and Mercedes. Is your Rav4 powered by this?

@carlgo - Yes, the Rav4EV is a Tesla powertrain.

Update on FIAT Dealer fiasco:
Dropped into fiat today. Here is a play by play on the pricing and I quote:

"The $999 down $199 lease, get it out of your head right now. The fine print on this is dealer participation may vary. None of the dealers are participating. Do you expect us to lose $1300 right off the top?!" He asked me like I was crazy. " it's more like $1500 down and no less than $270 a month"

"Is that including the promotion for $2000 rebate?" I asked.

"$2000 rebate is for purchase. $1000 for lease and yes the monthly will still be $270" he replied.

Talk about bait and switch! Elon, please take this fight to the stealers and do away with this ridiculous paradigm.

The RAV4-EV is available only in CA, AFAIK. Only 2600 made?

Can Rav4s access the SCs?

I doubt it. I believe they're in the same category at the 40kWh Model S.

@hypertrev11 - Typical dealership shenanigans. Just reply "yes, if you want the sale, I do" and walk out. But walk slowly and give them a chance to stop you. If they don't, go to another dealership. Granted, that could be a pain in a** if they're not close to you. But, yes, the direct sales model is so much nicer!

My aunt did about that. In first dealership she wanted to by a car (don't remember which) and they answered something in lines of "poor woman, I don't think you can afford that one", so she walked out of the store into next across the street and told salesperson there that "I'll buy that one with one condition" "What's that?" "You phone to that store there and tell the salesperson there that "that poor woman just bought a car here"" [salesperson goes to the phone laughing]. She bought the car.

You don't have to deal with poor salespeople. Just go to another store.

The RAV4 EV uses a Tesla motor and 40 kwh battery pack. It can't access the SC network but total range for me on full charge is about 150 miles. Just got back from 3 days at Cub Scout camp 50 miles away with 55 left. You can buy in CA and have them shipped elsewhere (I'm in upstate NY).

I would much rather have a Toyota with Tesla EV components than a Fiat with Fiat EV components.

Our Chrysler/Fiat dealer still hasn't gotten back to us regarding the 500e. Hilarious.

@Timo - Love that story! +1


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