By on July 11, 2019

Fiat Chrysler will invest $788 million to build a production line for the new 500 electric, according to the company’s European CFO Pietro Gorlier. An extension of automaker’s plan to to dump 5 billion euros ($5.6 billion) into Italy, the deal makes good on earlier promises that the automaker would establish a dedicated small battery-electric vehicle platform. 

FCA’s larger investment is to span through 2021 and would see the Fiat 500 battery electric produced at the Mirafiori plant in Turin while Melfi handled the new Jeep Compass and Renegade PHEVs. The hybrid systems are supposed to employ a turbocharged 1.3-liter gasoline engine with a a total output of 240 horsepower. Jeep has previously claimed that both would manage 31 miles of all-electric driving and a 0-to-60 time under seven seconds.

Automotive News reported that FCA has already installed the first production robot for the future 500 electric vehicle assembly line at Mirafiori. The facility is expected to build 80,000 units a year with production starting in the second quarter of 2020, with Gorlier suggesting capacity could be expanded if need be. It’s anticipated to be a colossal improvement over the current 500e ⁠— boasting a highly competitive range, fun dynamics, more luxury and a higher price tag. Meanwhile, the non-electric 500 is supposed to continue knocking around for an indeterminate amount of time on the existing platform.

It’s unclear how closely the new 500 EV it will mimic the Panda-inspired Centoventi electric we saw previewed in Geneva this year — if it bothers to at all. But the presiding assumption is that it would adopt the concept vehicle’s planned customizability and some futuristic styling elements while attempting to remain faithful to the 500’s historic image. A few FCA staffers have already confessed that the two won’t resemble each other in the slightest, however.

[Images: FCA]

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15 Comments on “FCA Putting $788 Million Behind New 500 EV, Small Battery Platform...”

  • avatar

    FCA specializes in vaporware, which is usually a bad thing, but in the case of the 500 EV it may be a good thing, because if FCA does end up launching a new 500 EV, it will most likely be DEFECTIVE, with a short range and an EXTREMELY LONG charging time, yet still with an exorbitant price. And in that case, vaporware is preferable, even from an environmental point of view, because there’s no point in wasting valuable energy and raw materials on DEFECTIVE products.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You forgot to mention that FCA’s leadership and board should be fired, and that anyone who buys this car is stupid. You’re slipping.

      • 0 avatar

        FCA has always been honest about not making BEVs a priority, and it still makes proper cars with long ranges and short “charging times”, so concluding that FCA’s leadership and board should be fired for announcing this BEV that might not even see the light of day would be a bit premature.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @Asdf Would you care to quantify, using measurable parameters, on how it will be defective, what exactly is a short range and finish up by telling us the what exactly is an extremely long charging time. We are all keenly interested to learn of your extensive engineering or science education, your years of experience using your advanced education,(we’ll be more impressed if you’re an automotive or aerospace insider) We’re all sitting on the edge of seats to find out: why did choose the comments section of TTAC to share your superior knowledge of EVs? But really, the B&B are just small potatoes. You really need to get a postage meter so you can send each EV manufacture a letter every day. Throw caution to the wind and send each manufacturer, ten; oh heck, hundreds of letters each day. We know you have the will and intellect to do it. If the manufacturers don’t give you the replies you seek, and we’re they won’t. Up your ante; go there in person. I’m sure the people you work with won’t mind you taking a few days off. Please, go from manufacturers headquarters to headquarters and peacefully protest with a sign that says “All EV’s Are DEFECTIVE!!!!!”. A sharp corporate PR type would buy you a sandwich.

    • 0 avatar

      Too bad the rest of their cars are DEFECTIVE; they don’t even provide a way to charge at home. The board should be fired because they force people to go to sketchy gas stations at night just to fuel their cars.


  • avatar

    The top image of the Panda-inspired vehicle is honestly a good choice, though they should take it away from the Fiat 500 name and call it a PandaEV or something similar. Trying to turn every vehicle into a 500 knock-off is part of what’s hurting the brand. Let the 500 be a 500 and let the others be what they are.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Hints for FCA:

    1. Don’t call it the 500 anything. You’re not learning this lesson.

    2. If this vehicle has the same tiny interior as the 500, you’ll never sell 80k of them per year.

    3. Is 80k the expected sales, or is it plant capacity? Seems wildly optimistic, and do you really have that much battery sourced?

    4. Don’t price it $1 over $30k.

  • avatar

    Ooooo!! A 2015 Kia Soul…by Fiat!

  • avatar

    Wasn’t this the car that Sergio begged everyone 5 years ago not to buy? I bet he’s rolling around in his grave.

  • avatar

    Seems like a new platform for the ICE Fiat 500 would be much higher on the list for development dollars. A bit of a head scratcher considering Fiat doesnt have have much in the way of all new platforms on the ground.

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