FCA could tap struggling EV startups for tech

Fiat-Chrysler may have recently agreed to a merger that will result in the creation of the world’s fourth-largest automaker, but that doesn’t mark an end to its consolidation goals.

Since announcing their pending merger, FCA and PSA have both hinted at EV plans for their existing brand portfolios. What is unclear, at least at this point, is where exactly FCA will source that technology. FCA hasn’t done much development work on EVs on its own, and it is looking to mine current and former EV hopefuls for the technology to bolster its efforts in future electrification. 

On Monday, The Verge cited current and former employees at both Faraday Future and Seres with knowledge of the talks, claiming that FCA has engaged both to build exploratory powertrain prototypes using FCA’s existing platforms. 

FCA has reportedly partnered with Faraday Future to build an electrified version of one of its existing vehicles. Seres, formerly known as SF Motors, has been tasked with contributing to two EV prototypes. In neither case was it reported which FCA vehicle (or vehicles) are expected to serve as test beds. 

There is no shortage of failed, failing, or teetering EV startups from which to shop. The aforementioned Seres put its U.S. launch on hold back in July thanks to a slowing Chinese car market (and EV market in particular) and fallout from the U.S.’s trade war with China. The company also suspended deliveries in its home market, sending signals that it could be more than just a temporary delay.

Faraday Future has been on a roller coaster of leadership issues and funding shortfalls brought on by politics and personality conflicts. Its executive situation appeared to stabilize in September, but Faraday Future doesn’t seem to be any closer to delivering its FF 91 luxury sedan now than when it was first shown back in 2017.

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