Fiat 500 With Combustion Engines Sticking Around Despite Next-Gen EV
9 March 2020 - motor1
Small city cars have always been a lucrative opportunity for manufacturers going for the electrified route, and Fiat is the latest manufacturer to introduce their all-new, fully-electrified 500e.
The small footprint and relatively simple driving demands required of city cars provide the perfect opportunity to stuff an electric motor with a decent amount of range capability, all while benefiting from cities with an effective charging infrastructure in place. While the 500e will appeal to those looking to be early adopters and smart mobility users, there still exists a part of the market that relies on internal combustion engines to power their vehicles, and Fiat knows this.
While the 500e is their latest foray into the world of EVs, Fiat has clearly stated that it won't be replacing the current model of the Fiat 500. The 500e was built from the ground up to be an EV, and the 500 will still be sold alongside it in hybrid and combustion engine form. Talking with Autocar UK, Fiat boss Olivier François said: “We will continue to offer the petrol-engined 500 as long as there is a real request [from buyers].” François has also said that the EV platform is targeted at more premium buyers, while the existing model is aimed at a lower price point. This bipolar strategy is meant to complement the fact that Fiat 500 sales are bipolar in nature and are dominated by either base models or higher variants.
Also, while François says that the opportunity for EVs is bigger than ever, the timing has to be right per country or market. "We need to be ready. Today there is already a demand, and we know it will explode due to regulations. But we don’t know what level it will explode to. We’ve now got one great nameplate with two approaches, and we’ll keep offering the classic 500. The electric 500 is more revolution than evolution, so we’ll offer a revolution and an evolution. As long as there is a request for the latter, we’ll continue to offer it.”