Fiat 500e will likely be Stellantis’ EV take a look at run within the U.S.

Fiat 500e will likely be Stellantis’ EV take a look at run within the U.S.


LOS ANGELES – Whereas we’re excited for the Fiat 500e’s arrival within the U.S., and we predict there is a clear area of interest for it, we nonetheless had a great deal of questions on what fashions have been coming, if any modifications can be made and what else is perhaps coming for the Italian model. And in a roundtable interview with Fiat Model CEO Olivier François, we realized all that and extra. So let’s go over the fascinating electrical way forward for Fiat within the U.S.
The Future is 500
And after we say that it is 500, we imply solely 500e. François revealed that, though it isn’t going away instantly, the 500X crossover will likely be discontinued when this era reaches the top of its lifecycle. His reasoning for this transfer is that just one mannequin actually struck a chord with American consumers: the common 500. He identified that it had, directly level, 60% of the ultra-small section forward of Mini. And it was profitable as a result of it was an iconic automotive that met a really particular area of interest for a really particular purchaser: one thing small and classy that labored effectively as a commuter and metropolis automotive. He famous that the 500L, with a give attention to practicality, wasn’t one thing {that a} mainstream purchaser was searching for, nor that area of interest purchaser. And it is a comparable case for the 500X. So the model is shifting again to its hottest, core mannequin, and it has no plans within the close to time period to develop past that.
Precisely which 500e variants will likely be supplied right here continues to be being determined. There are three variations in Europe proper now, the hatchback, soft-top and quirky three-door (with a half-door on the passenger facet a la Mazda MX-30). They are going to be joined by a sporty Abarth model quickly. François famous that they might begin with one model and provide others later, or maybe the hatch and convertible concurrently. The three-door appears unlikely, as there is not a lot demand for such a small automotive with a slightly easier-to-access rear seat. The Abarth is one thing François mentioned he wish to provide right here (and we might love to simply accept), however that can seemingly be decided by how effectively this new Fiat technique works. He did say that any of them may very well be supplied, but it surely will depend on the model’s success and technique. One attention-grabbing tidbit that might complicate the convertible is that probably the most profitable states for the five hundred have been California and Florida, that are each states have been convertibles do not do nice. Larry Dominique, senior vp and head of Fiat and Alfa Romeo within the U.S., famous that almost all of convertible consumers are literally in a lot snowier states.
No matter physique model, the specs will apparently stay similar to the European mannequin. Small modifications will likely be made for U.S. rules equivalent to normal security options, lighting, tire specs and such, however it should broadly be the identical. It comes with a 42-kWh battery that is rated for 199 miles of vary on the European WLTP cycle (count on much less on the U.S. take a look at loop). Beneath the hood is a 117-horsepower electrical motor powering the entrance wheels. DC quick charging can be out there for the automotive. 

Fiat will likely be Stellantis’ American EV take a look at run
One of many stunning issues François revealed was how small Fiat’s footprint within the U.S. is. He mentioned that annual gross sales peaked a bit over 40,000 models a yr within the U.S., which is minuscule subsequent to Fiat’s international gross sales of greater than one million models a yr. Many automakers would in all probability simply stop the market, however not Fiat. Apparently the plan is to make use of Fiat as a solution to check out new concepts for promoting automobiles and as a testbed for promoting EVs within the U.S. Fiat would be the first Stellantis model to begin promoting EVs, even earlier than greater nameplates like Jeep and Dodge.
Apparently the technique is that, since Fiat is a small area of interest model that is not an enormous quantity vendor, it isn’t a horrible loss if issues do not go tremendous easily. As François mentioned, if issues go effectively, that is good to be taught and apply to different manufacturers. If they do not, then that is additionally good to be taught, and it wasn’t an enormous mistake.
Amongst among the new concepts being tossed round for Fiat are absolutely digital advertising and marketing and new methods to purchase or use automobiles. Or no less than, new-ish. Subscription fashions are definitely on the desk, as are doable car-sharing fashions. François famous {that a} small stylish metropolis automotive can be a robust choice for automotive sharing, significantly in city areas, and it might symbolize some extent for individuals to expertise a 500e in a manner which may cause them to purchase one.

City facilities are additionally the place Fiat will give attention to promoting the 500e. François talked about how this can be a automotive for 2 key sorts of consumers, each seemingly in giant cities. One is the customer that has a number of automobiles that every one do various things, and the 500e would match the environment friendly, trendy commuter. The opposite can be somebody searching for one thing trendy however is perhaps higher suited to a subscription mannequin and even automotive sharing. As he put it: individuals with giant driveways or individuals with out driveways in any respect. And naturally, the considerably shorter vary of the 500e in comparison with different extra sensible choices lends itself to metropolis life.
One closing query that was requested, however not answered, was pricing. An enormous a part of that’s merely that it hasn’t been set, interval. So there’s nothing actually to say. François did say that the automotive would not be “low cost.” We take that to imply that it will not be a bargain-basement form of automotive. So it could be priced extra like a Mini Cooper SE. He additionally famous that there can be no plans to supply huge reductions on the automotive, it doesn’t matter what. The rationale, in addition to the truth that huge reductions in all probability would not assist the picture, is that Fiat 500e manufacturing is at the moment constrained. They’re promoting each instance they’ll make in different markets, and with how small the U.S. market will likely be, Fiat will not have to fret about transferring out stock. Apparently, that is additionally partly why the 500e hasn’t come to the U.S. sooner. François mentioned that it has been so successful that the model needed to prioritize getting examples to Europe.
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