Fiat 500 thermal in Italy: here's why Stellantis no longer has a choice

While the Fiat 500 combustion engine could make a comeback in Italian factories, the slowdown in sales of the 100 % electric model at the start of 2024 seems to be the main reason for this turnaround. Let's find out!

From the outset, Fiat wanted to launch its new 100 % electric 500 in anticipation of the ban on the sale of combustion-powered models in Europe (not before 2035, after all), surrounded by very "trendy" communication. This is also in line with Dare Forward 2030, Stellantis' ambitious global plan to reduce the Group's carbon footprint by 50 % and to make 100 % of electrical sales in the EU*.. *subject to favorable public policies. And let's not forget that Fiat had confirmed to us that, until now, it did not want to sell the new 500 as an internal combustion model..


Quite a gamble when you consider that the Fiat 500 combustion engine regularly exceeded 180,000 annual sales over the previous decade. And, as we explained in an article earlier this year.., sales of the electric 500 reach a plateau in 2023as shown in the table below. Which is problematic, since the 500 electric is supposed to replace the internal combustion engine.

500 (ICE+BEV)
Fiat 500 BEV

The year 2024 heralds no progress for the electric model. Fiat 500 electric registrations in France, Germany and Italy are shown below. In 2023, out of 65,000 units of the electric 500, 45,000 will come from France and only 5,000 from Italy.

CountryJan 2023Jan 2024Feb 2023Feb 2024
Fiat 500 BEV registrations by country

As you can see, apart from the exception of January 2024 for Germany, there are no significant signs of progress in terms of volume. According to figures from Jato, an automotive analysis company, the 500 electric declined by -11 % in Europe in January 2024 alone and falls to 10th place in the ranking, while the market grew by +29 1TP3Q.

So.., what can we do for 2024 if sales of the electric version have reached their peak? How can sales of the 500 be saved when the current combustion version, produced in Poland, is not compatible with the Driving Aids that will be compulsory at European level in July 2024? It's hard to believe that Fiat will agree to reduce the number of units from 180,000 to 60,000...


Two solutionsor update the 500 thermal units currently produced at Tychy as Fiat has already upgraded the Panda to Pandina updated with new driving aids, or else, produce a thermal version of the current 500 at Mirafiori in order to put a definitive end to the production stoppages it repeatedly suffers. A temporary solution in the meantime the future 500 on the STLA Small platform and said to be less expensive than the current one.


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  1. It was a foregone conclusion... and I'm far from an automotive specialist! How could these executives think for a single second that the 500e, despite all its assets, would achieve the same figures as the combustion version in the blink of an eye?
    It's a good thing the 500e was designed to be compatible with a combustion engine! It's just a shame we waited so long! Now it's time to move up a gear !!!! Ditto for the future Giulia and Stelvio!

  2. Dividing sales by a factor of 3, even though the Fiat 500e is a very good city car - well finished, attractive and a real improvement on the previous-generation Fiat 500, is obviously a problem. There are a number of reasons why people don't buy electric cars: practicality, which isn't always obvious, and price.
    This late turnaround by Fiat is good news. Let's hope it happens for future Alfa Romeo models too.
    This rush to all-electricity 11 years before the 2035 deadline is a mistake. 11 years is more than the lifespan of a car model.
    At the very least, we need to have a choice between electric and thermal power for the next 11 years.

  3. Italians first and Fiat managers must bitterly regret having sold their industrial soul to Peugeot!!!! Because Stellantis followed headlong the orders of the Green political lobbies to go all-electric!!!! Without any Industrial visions !!! Grave grave! Let them go themselves on vacation with their electric cars by the highway this summer !!! Catastrophe! Quelle honte ces décisions imposées puis.... retirées ... les rétropédalages des Politiques on va les voir à tous niveaux dans temps !!! Merci Thank you merci a vous Tous.
    A 500 cabrio hybrid with the new caiisse top!

    • They didn't follow any orders, Tavares saw electric cars as an additional financial windfall to make serious money, which is why when he arrived he raised the price of the electric 500 by €5,000, even though it wasn't cheap already.

    • The environmental lobbies are clearly far too powerful compared to the oil and car industry lobbies. They're invading all the forums, and it's too much.

      • Perhaps it's simply not a question of lobbying, but of collective intelligence...

        I'll say it again: whether it's diesel, petrol, hybrid or electric, they'll always try to make the most money. I'll even give you a spoiler: in 20 years' time, if they pull the same stunt with hydrogen, they'll do the same thing...

    • Stellantis has not applied all-electric to the whole group. Strangely enough, it's the Italian brands that need to get on board in a hurry... it would be a way of killing off these brands that I wouldn't be surprised 😡

  4. Hello
    When are you going to launch the new Fiat thermal? And will there be a convertible?
    Thanks in advance

  5. With the exponential rise in electricity prices over the past 5 years, electric cars are becoming less and less attractive, not to mention the constraints of recharging... the dictatorship of European regulations has reached the limit of what is bearable. Nothing is irreversible, especially in politics. And they still want us to believe in the benefits of "ecological transition", to promote "soft mobility" and other nonsense...

    • Exactly, the price per 100 km is much higher with electricity than with petrol or diesel. What's more, there's still enough oil to last for millions of years, climate change doesn't exist, and bees sting.

  6. And to think that Mirafiori was once Europe's largest and most modern automobile production site. Today it's nothing but an empty shell, the result of chronic under-investment and incompetent management since the death of Gianni Agnelli.

  7. If the decision is made, how long will it take to get the assembly lines up and running and to start production of the model?

  8. Clearly, Fiat hasn't given the "new" 500 a fair chance by launching it as a full-electric model, even though a combustion version has been on the drawing board from the outset.
    Fiat needs to wake up to this model, not just in terms of combustion engines. The 500e's failure, or lack of success, is also due to a number of factors. With this new opus, Fiat has fallen into Stellantis' ways: virtually no special series (or nothing very distinctive), customization close to nil, very high prices for a product that is, admittedly, of high quality, but not to the point of selling it at such a high price. Communication is totally lacking (OK DiCaprio was nice at the beginning, but we've had him for 4 years now....). In short, there's nothing dolce vita about it, and nothing to compare with all the clever marketing (both product marketing and communications) that went into the 2007 500...
    We can only hope that the thermic will revive it, but Fiat will also have to get back to the fundamentals of the model and not treat it like any other Stellantis product...

  9. Bonjour a tous quand on voit sur la centrale le nombre de 500 Abarth électrique d'occasion a vendre on peut se poser des questions ????

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