The new electric Fiat 500 is back in the USA: is this time the right one?

The Fiat 500 is an icon of Italian design, which has seduced millions of drivers since its launch in 1957. In 2020, the city car has reinvented itself as a 100 % electric version. But will this new electric 500 be marketed in the USA, a market where the brand has struggled in the past?

A failed first attempt

In 2013, Fiat tried to sell an electric 500 in the USA, under the name 500e. It was an adapted version of the 500 thermal, equipped with a 24 kWh battery and a 111 hp engine, offering a range of 140 km.


This model was intended to meet California requirements, which required manufacturers to offer a certain percentage of zero-emission vehicles. But Fiat never concealed its lack of enthusiasm for the project, which was losing money on every sale.

The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) at the time, Sergio Marchionne, even declared: "I beg you, don't buy it". The 500e was sold at a very low price, 32,500 $, and benefited from strong tax incentives, but it failed to win over Americans, who preferred larger, more powerful models. In 2019, Fiat has announced that it will cease production of the 500e, as well as the 500 thermal, in the USA, due to lack of demand.


A new, more ambitious generation

In 2020, Fiat unveiled the new generation of the electric 500, which has little in common with its predecessor. It's a model entirely designed to be electric, based on a new dedicated platform called Mini. The new 500 electric offers two battery capacities: a 23.8 kWh battery with a range of 185 km, and a 42 kWh battery with a range of 320 km. The engine develops 118 hp, enabling the car to reach a top speed of 150 km/h and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds.

In terms of design, the new 500 electric retains the characteristic features of the 500, but with a more modern and elegant look. It is available in three versions: sedan, convertible and 3+1, with a small additional rear door.


A return to the USA

The new electric 500 was launched in Europe in 2020, where it met with some success, particularly in France and Germany.

Building on this success, Fiat announces plans to relaunch the electric 500 in the USAwhere demand for electric vehicles is growing strongly. During our last press trip to Turin, Fiat CEO Olivier François stated that the new electric 500 will return to the USA in 2024. And indeed, here's what's posted on the Fiat USA website.


This will be a specific model for the American market, arriving in spring 2024. The price and features of this version have not yet been revealed, but we can expect it to be close to the European version. Last time I checked, Olivier François didn't have very high ambitions for this model in the USA, indicating that 10,000 sales a year would be great.

Fiat hopes to win back American consumers. Will the new electric 500 be up to the challenge? We'll have the answer in a few months.



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  1. When you lose 5000€/500 electrics, it's a wonder you don't want customers to buy them, and Sergio has regretted this attempt enormously, saying it time and again

  2. Americans are much more enthusiastic about new products than Europeans.
    The new version of the Fiat 500e may appeal in some cities.

    • But of course... Americans are like Europeans, they love combustion engines above all else, and probably as much as Japan, if not more, because it's part of their culture.

      • Just like Italy and Switzerland, which are rightly moving backwards on the question of electricity, see Luxembourg, Belgium and Liechtenstein.

      • Americans do buy Tesla cars, proving that some are not hostile to electric cars.
        There's a segment of the population that's in favor of it, so the Fiat 500e could be a hit there.
        The problem isn't that there are electric cars, but that we need to have a choice between internal combustion, hybrid and electric.

        • So why have the surveys of those who have bought electric cars, or were in the process of buying one, fallen from over 80% to not even 30% since the start of the year, while almost 60% of buyers have gone back to combustion?
          Tesla sells well there, but after 3 years they sometimes have problems that can't be solved, which starts to drive customers away at breakneck speed.
          With the exception of Tesla, sales of all the other brands are collapsing like a house of cards, while Lexus is going full tilt with its hybrid.
          So I don't see how the 500e is going to sell, let's face it.

          • That's why I say let the customer choose, and don't go all electric.
            Indeed, many of those who bought an electric car are returning to internal combustion.

          • Except that if Stellantis stubbornly sticks to all-electric and no longer bets on V6 hybrids (even though they have 3 fantastic ones, if you include the first Ferrari/Maserati V6), the fall will be brutal, and even Tavares, who's now pushing for all-electric cars, won't be long before the next elections in Europe and the USA, as many people want to calm things down for electric cars, because not only are they not up to scratch and accumulate problems after 2 or 3 years (sometimes beyond repair, as mentioned above, especially at Tesla), but the number of people who'll find themselves out of work will be gigantic.
            What's more, this leaves a huge market for the Chinese, who are establishing themselves everywhere with their EVs that are selling like hotcakes! Add to that the fact that Stellantis is betting everything on PURETOCH (as Dav says) and we're not far from bankruptcy for Alfa, Lancia and Abarth, and soon Fiat too, as PSA wants to steal the South American market from them!

          • This is all the more astonishing given that Tavares had reservations about all-electric vehicles not so long ago.
            The idea of some brands, such as Alfa Romeo, going all-electric within the next 3 years seems insane (unless there's a change of heart, which is always possible).

            The Fiat 500e is selling well in France and Germany, but not elsewhere, and Stellantis has no questions?
            In other words, it's up to customers to adapt, and if they're not happy, they can go to hell.

  3. And it will be even worse for Lancia and Alfa in the USA if they go all-electric as planned. Ford is collapsing, GM is floundering, Jeep is doing the same, Dodge and Chrysler haven't even started yet, but that's no good news when you see how little interest customers showed in the Dodge EV at SEMA.

  4. Once you've tasted the 500th, you can't get rid of it.
    Lightweight electric concept, the only one with a future.
    The Germans used to build thermal tanks, now they've switched to electric super-tanks weighing 2.5 to 3.5 tons!
    With our 2,500s, we've clocked up over 180,000 km in less than 2 years, and the pleasure is always renewed.
    And you can go anywhere in town, and at 85Kw of charging power, no problem on trips.
    Let's face it, the heavyweights, like the mammoths in their day, will die a natural death.

    • Not just the Germans, because when you look at Lotus, which was:
      "Light is right!"
      It has become:
      "the heavier it is, the better it is".
      At the moment, it's light cars that are joining the mammoths 🦣 at the natural history museum, and even Catheram is paying the price!

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