Fiat 500e Gelateria is tiny electric ice cream van

11 months ago - 24 August 2023, autocar
Fiat 500e Gelateria is tiny electric ice cream van
Old, diesel ice cream vans are under threat from clean air zones, but Fiat has a fun-sized solution

The Fiat 500 has been transformed into "the world's smallest, zero-emission gelateria" in response to toughening emissions restrictions placed on diesel-burning ice cream vans in cites.

It has been developed in response to clean air zones being introduced in and around most UK cities, 14 of which are set to be operational by the end of next year.

Many existing ice cream vans are ageing commercial vehicles with non-compliant diesel engines, prompting demand for cleaner alternatives. 

The London boroughs of Camden, Greenwich, and Westminster have banned or restricted the use of combustion-engined ice cream vans over excessive air and noise pollution; and expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to encompass all 32 boroughs will come into effect on 29 August, meaning non-compliant vans will incur a charge of £12.50 per day anywhere within the M25.

Fiat UK boss Damien Dally said: “While the one-off Fiat 500e Gelateria Edition remains a one-off UK concept, based on the 500e Convertible, it is a zero-emission solution that demonstrates the car’s versatility in city environments. It’s small, compact and electric, styled with the brand’s Italian heritage in mind.”

Fiat’s one-off reworking of the 500 is said to be inspired by a "local Italian gelateria of the 1950s".

It swaps its rear seats for a pair of battery-powered freezers and is decorated with suitably jovial blue-and-white paintwork, plus the all-important folding roof and canopy. 

It also has bronze 'Gelateria' badging on the front wheel arch to single it out as a one-off creation.

Fiat has also developed a bespoke chime, which it says is inspired by the "operatic sounds of Italy".

Inside, you will find deck chairs and enough freezer space to serve 300 people per day - a requirement bound by Fiat's research which found that 83% of Brits think "ice cream vans are a quintessential part of British culture".

It follows a list of one-off electric ice cream vans developed over the years, including one developed by Whitby Morrison that runs on an electric motor when it arrives at a location and a bespoke Nissan e-NV200 made by Mackies.

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