By: Sean O’Kane
In October, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley told investors that he’s open to making cars powered by other companies’ electric vehicle technology. But Fiat Chrysler (FCA), which owns brands like Jeep and Dodge, is doing more than just considering the idea. The Verge has learned the automaker is in talks with at least two distressed EV startups about leveraging their technology to build electric Fiat Chrysler vehicles — namely Faraday Future and Seres (formerly known as SF Motors).
The discussions were described to The Verge by current and former employees of each startup (who were granted anonymity because of nondisclosure agreements with their respective companies) and both are at different stages. Faraday Future retrofitted one of FCA’s vehicles with its electric powertrain technology and performed road testing in October, according to a former employee with knowledge of the project. This came after months of on-and-off meetings between FCA and Faraday Future, dating back to at least April — right around when Ford announced its investment in EV startup Rivian. Faraday Future’s electric powertrain technology was largely developed by the same widely-respected team that created the EV1, GM’s first mass market car.