The Fiat 500e is the hot, cute, fun, popular little electric car that could. Despite Fiat’s lack of interest in producing and selling electric cars — and even its sharp opposition to the task — the 500e has been a hit in places where it’s been sold. The problem is that those places are just: California and Oregon. Seriously.
So far, the 500e, which is of course just a modified version of Fiat’s little 500, has been produced in Mexico. However, the company has finally designed an electric car from the ground up — the next-gen 500e — and it will be produced in Turin, Italy.
This is actually not just an individually designed electric car, either. Fiat has designed a powertrain for small fully electric cars, and the next-gen 500e will be the first car to use it. Clearly, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has come around and sees the future is electric.
FCA CEO Mike Manley opened the FCA meeting and said: “Mirafiori will represent the first installation of a full BEV platform applied on the new Fiat 500, capable of scaling to other applications worldwide. Additional investments across our Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat brands will realize the benefits of existing plant capacity as well as scale and sourcing efficiencies from a common vehicle architecture, and Plug-in Hybrid Electric propulsion (PHEV) system, while preserving traits unique to the brands.”
If FCA wants to sell many cars in China, Europe, or several zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) states in the US, it needs to have a solid electric and electrified vehicle plan. Naturally, if you are an automaker, you want to sell cars in these places, so FCA’s EV plan is finally arriving.
Pietro Gorlier, Chief Operating Officer (COO) for FCA in the EMEA region, “further explained the details of the major initiatives to be launched in the next few weeks, including investment in production of the new Fiat 500 BEV at Mirafiori (Turin), and the European Jeep Compass in Melfi, leveraging the already installed vehicle platform and PHEV which underpin the Jeep Renegade. Applying that same flexible platform and PHEV technology, activities will also commence to prepare Pomigliano to produce an Alfa Romeo compact UV. A Fiat Panda MHV (Mild Hybrid Vehicle) will also be launched in Pomigliano.”
“The investment programmed for Italy over the plan period, which focuses on the use of common, flexible and electrified vehicle platforms, will reinforce the orientation of the Italian industrial footprint toward our global brands and global markets,” commented Gorlier. “In the next few months, we will be launching employee training programs focused on hybrid and electric technologies. I am convinced that, together with our workforce, we will succeed in implementing these exciting new programs in the marketplace.”
Well, you better. Otherwise, you’ll see hefty fines or be unable to sell cars in Europe, China, and certain US states.
For a look at the original Fiat 500e, see my review, which includes pics and a video recorded while driving.
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