Fiat 500e electric car may gain gas option

Fiat launched a new generation of its iconic 500 minicar exclusively with electric power in 2020, a car that will start sales in the U.S. shortly as the 2024 500e.

However, the previous-generation 500 powered by a gas engine remains on sale, and in the nameplate’s key market of Europe accounted for about 104,000 sales last year versus 62,000 for the new 500e.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Automotive News (subscription required) reported that Fiat is considering adding a gas option for the new 500e to fill in for the previous-generation 500, which starting in July will no longer be compliant with European Union safety and cybersecurity rules.

Further evidence that backs the possibility is Fiat asking suppliers for quotes to increase capacity at the vehicle’s plant in Turin, Italy, from 77,260 units built in 2023 to 175,000 units, Automotive News learned from supplier sources. According to the sources, 100,000 units of that capacity would be for models with a gas engine and the rest the electric version.

Should the report prove accurate, there’s no indication the gas option would be offered in the U.S.

The previous-generation 500 is built at a plant in Tychy, Poland. According to Automotive News, Fiat’s goal of only selling electric vehicles starting in 2030 means the automaker has no intention of updating the older 500 to meet the new E.U. rules.

The older 500 may remain on sale outside of Europe, though. Fiat is considering moving its production from Poland to a plant in Algeria to serve markets in Africa and West Asia.

SOURCE

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