Fiat CEO Olivier Francois has confirmed an all-new electric-only Fiat 500 will launch at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. And the new city car will be inspired by Tesla.
“We should think of the new 500 EV as an urban Tesla,” he said. “The beautiful style, coolness of concept, the statement it makes that the driver is cool, refined, sophisticated and cultivated.”
Although this means the entry-level price of the electric 500 may increase, Francois is not concerned. Half of customers already pay between £19,000 and £21,000 to buy a high-spec 500.
Fiat sold almost 200,000 500s last year. Taking a theoretical £26,000 entry-level price for a supermini-sized electric car, Francois argued that, once government incentives are factored in, Fiat already has evidence 100,000 people are prepared to pay what an electric 500 may cost.
The current model, he added, will remain on sale, as a ‘classic 500’, with a range of small petrol engines. “We will keep on updating it to keep it fresh.”
Shifting the new 500 to an electric-only model is only possible because of the strength of the 500 brand. “People love the 500. Some will take it as an electric car even if they don’t need it. We will not lose customers by going only EV.”
Fiat will use sales of the zero-emission electric 500, along with a potential electric replacement for the Panda, to keep its European FCA fleet CO2 emissions within 2021 targets.
“Small cars do not make lots of profits, but the contribution they can make to our group emissions will allow us to sell greater numbers of higher-margin Jeeps, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos.”