Stellantis brand Fiat is coming back to the United States with its new all-electric 500e, a small urban vehicle that has been selling like hot cakes in Europe.
The all-electric Fiat 500e is not like the original 500e, which was essentially a retro’d version of an internal combustion version of the same model. This time, the Fiat 500e is built on its own platform designed for EVs.
The Fiat 500e made its debut at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show to signal its entry into the North American market. But consumers will need to be patient. The new 500e will arrive in North America in Q1 of 2024, according to the company. While the announcement was made at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, consumers are going to have to wait a year to actually see a production version of the 500e designed for North America. The company said the official reveal of the North American 500e is scheduled for the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Fiat released a few details of the North American specs for the 500e vehicle, including that the battery will have more than 150-mile range. Olivier Francois, Fiat CEO and global CMO Stellantis, said the all-electric Fiat 500e will be able to charge the 85kW battery up to 30 miles in five minutes. The vehicle will come with an advanced driver assistance system that provides “Level 2+” features such as lane centering and adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, blind spot detection and 360-degree parking sensors.
The Fiat 500e will also come with the UConnect 5 connected car system and a 10.25-inch touchscreen.
Bringing the Fiat 500e to North America is a bet that some consumers in this SUV-loving region have an appetite for a smaller EV. The Stellantis brand is positioning itself as a cool, and yes, small vehicle that is functional without sacrificing fashion. It’s perhaps a niche demographic; it’s also one wide open for the taking, at least in North America.
As part of the reveal, the Fiat brand collaborated with design houses Armani, Kartell and Bvlgari to create one-off versions of the 500e vehicles. While these have been couched as design exercises to showcase Italian craftsmanship, creativity and sophistication, it’s possible (though not likely) that one or all of these could become an option for consumers if demand meets or surpasses expectations. Lest you forget, the brand launched the Fiat 500 by Gucci in 2011.