Next-Gen Fiat 500 Poised to Go All Electric

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【Summary】After seven long model years, Fiat is finally planning to replace the Fiat 500e with an all-new model.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Mar 15, 2019 6:00 AM PT
Next-Gen Fiat 500 Poised to Go All Electric

Saying that the current Fiat 500e doesn't have what it takes to compete with modern electrified offerings is a kind way of saying that it's been at the back of the pack for numerous years. After hanging around for seven long model years, a report from Top Gear claims that Fiat is set to introduce an all-new Fiat 500 next year. And, surprisingly, the model will be electric only. 

At this year's Geneva Motor Show, Fiat unveiled the Centoventi concept (pictured above), which was an electric concept that was created to celebrate the automaker's 120th birthday. The concept was all about flexibility, offering consumers with the ability to choose their own range – from about 62 miles all the up to 310 miles. The interior, while being an exquisite design in minimalism, is also customizable, allowing buyers to choose between a 10-inch display or a 20-inch one. 

Possible Range For A New, Electric 500

From the sound of things, it looks like the Centoventi concept got Fiat thinking about a realistic vehicle to replace the current 500. Talking to Olivier Francois, FCA's chief marketing officer, the next generation of the 500 will arrive at next year's Geneva Motor Show and will only be offered with an electric powertrain. 

"Collectively as carmakers we've been thinking about giving people a choice of 200 km (124 miles) range, because we didn't dare say 100 km (62 miles) range – it sounds too low," said Francois. "200 km is a compromise, and while 400 km (248 miles) is nice, it's expensive. If you have something premium and expensive that's perfect, but you wouldn't see a Tesla with a base model of range. It makes sense to make the best offer of range and embed it in a premium priced car. That's the way we'll go with the 500."

So, if you read between the lines, it sounds like the upcoming 500 electric vehicle will make a move upstream and have a range of roughly 248 miles. If Fiat manages to come out with an EV with that kind of range, it would be competitive with modern offerings like the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Tesla Model 3, and Hyundai Kona Electric. 

What's Wrong With The Current 500e?

A range of 248 miles would also be a massive improvement over the current Fiat 500e. That vehicle has a range of just 84 miles on a single charge, which is easily outdone by more modern rivals. The vehicle is rated to get up to 121 MPGe city and 103 MPGe highway. 

Another drawback for the 500e is that it's only readily available in California and Oregon. While a lot of modern electric vehicles are predominantly marketed in a few states in the U.S., the majority of them are available in more than just two states. 

Fiat may be going all-in on an electric future for the 500, but it knows that a lot of consumers are still on the fence, so it will continue to offer the same gasoline variants of the model that are currently on sale alongside the EV. 

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