Fiat to pump almost $800M into next-generation 500e electric car
This new one shouldn't be a massive loss leader, like the last one.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
was a bit of an experiment, a US-only electric variant of the
with 111 horsepower and a range of about 80 miles. It wasn't exactly a hot seller, and it didn't exactly contribute to Fiat Chrysler's bottom line, but that didn't mean lessons weren't learned. Now, the company is cooking up a second-generation 500e that should be much better positioned.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will invest 700 million euros (about $788 million) on the next-gen Fiat 500e, Reuters reports, citing comments from Pietro Gorlier, a Fiat Chrysler executive. Gorlier told a scrum of reporters that the company still intends to invest in future EV technology despite the potential merger with Renault falling apart.
There's more involved in building an electric car than just the car itself. Reuters says that FCA's investment will go toward a new production line in Mirafiori, Italy, where it hopes to produce 80,000 examples of the new 500e. The goal is to start production in the latter part of the first half of 2020.
And, unlike the last one, it will be available in Europe, although it's unclear if the car will return to the US. These two markets have wildly different needs regarding range, so Fiat may choose to pull a
and engineer its electric city car with only Europe in mind, like the Japanese automaker is doing with its E hatchback.