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Chrysler electric vehicle chief: Fiat 500e is ‘just the first step’

Electric vehicles will play a big role in Chrysler’s future, but Mike Duhaime has a lot of catching up to do.

Duhaime, who was the chief engineer for the Chevrolet Volt’s powertrain, left General Motors in July 2012 after 33 years to become global director of Chrysler’s electrified propulsion and engineering.

The company’s first electric car — the Fiat 500e — just went on sale in California. Neither Chrysler nor Fiat sold any of the 257,820 gasoline-electric hybrids Americans bought in the first six months of 2013, according to Hybridcars.com’s monthly sales report.

“The 500e is just the first step,” Duhaime said. “There are battery electric vehicles in our future.”

Duhaime said Chrysler offered him broader responsibilities, an exciting culture and the chance to develop new electric vehicles.
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