Car News

New FCA Powertrain Boss Says Company to Become Electrification Leader, Soon

While the company might be best known for injections of massive amounts of horsepower to keep its models fresh, Fiat Chrysler is planning a rapid change to electrification in a very short timeline. That's according to a new interview with FCA's global powertrain head Micky Bly.

Bly moved to FCA just a few months ago, taking over as head of powertrain engineering with the company. Inside an automaker that has built a reputation on conventional power over the last decade, Bly comes to the company from roles as a VP of driveline and electrification with General Motors as well as VP of global electrification with American Axle & Manufacturing. Bly spoke with The Detroit Bureau about the coming changes to FCA's powertrain and electrification plans.

"We're not leaders now," he said, referring to the company's in the industry with regards to EVs. But he promised that the company will try to be one of the leaders "over the next 12 to 18 months," the Bureau reports.

The company currently offers an electric version of the Fiat 500 in certain markets, and the company has said previously it's planning to make the next-gen all EV. It also offers a plug-in version of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

It's expected to start rolling out more EVs, plug-ins, and mild hybrids like the eTorque system on the new Ram pickups. Why the change in attitude? "Government compliance," Bly said, adding that it's becoming more difficult to meet emissions regulations. "We’re at an inflection or a tipping point, or whatever buzzword you want to use. You can’t get much more efficiency out of a gasoline engine," Bly said.

FCA isn't planning to make its own batteries, though. "We’re not going to make batteries. It’s not in our DNA," Bly said. Instead, the company will work with existing suppliers.

So does that mean electric Hellcats? "People want more than (what’s available) today," Bly told the Bureau, but said that he wouldn't comment on future product.

"There are a lot of (electrified) products coming," Bly said. And that he had been tasked to develop an electrification strategy that would arrive to market in the next three to five years.