Within the strategical scope of energy conservation and improvement of human quality of life FIAT is since long time performing activities aimed at the technologies for electrically propelled vehicles for diversified applications.
The electricity as energy vector allows an application flexibility to different types of vehicles, full electrics hybrid and multimode vehicles which have been developed at prototypes level or small scale production.
The tactical process which has been followed is based on the three phases of:
technology research and development
demonstration programs and field trials
The experience achieved within several extensively tested prototypes and pilot service allowed to put in small series production light and medium delivery vans as well as minibuses, which are now in service in Rome and other italian cities.
In 1990, the Panda Elettra has been put in commercialization as a first type of electric vehicle offered for private transport; this vehicle is based on technological solutions adequately and economically viable for the present state of the art.
The evolution process includes now further technological development in the field on board energy sources and drive system.
As a first example of this new technologies, a solution with four “in wheel motor” has been developed and applied to a multimode hybrid bus.
The potential impact, features and issues are discussed for the new technologies which are presently under development.