What Range Anxiety? Dealers Snap Up Fiat 500e

Stellantis is launching the small, limited-range battery-electric-vehicle in March, and dealers are anxious to get them despite a slowdown in BEV demand.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

February 22, 2024

2 Min Read
fiat500 (002)
500e keeps retro-modern look and could be winner in U.S. urban markets.

Perhaps smaller is the way to go to drive battery-electric-vehicle sales.

The Fiat 500e, the first Stellantis-brand BEV for the U.S., is arriving at the end of March. The company says the first dealer allocation was spoken for in less than a week.

Ford CEO Jim Farley said last week that the Dearborn, MI, automaker is going smaller and cheaper by rapidly developing a BEV architecture aimed at increasing sales volumes of BEVs. He specifically cited the BYD Seagull as a budding phenomenon, which would be a competitor to the Fiat 500e should the Chinese company figure out a way to launch it in the U.S.

At a bit more than 3,000 lbs. (1,360 kg), the Fiat 500e will be the lightest, smallest BEV in the segment. It also will be among the least expensive BEVs, starting at $32,500 (an additional $1,595 for destination fees). The car does not qualify for the federal $7,500 tax credit, but Stellantis notes it will allow buyers to take advantage of government tax rebates in some states.

The car comes with a Level 2 charger or charging credits through Free2move Charge, a Stellantis-owned charging business.

The 500e is powered by a 118-hp electric motor allowing for a 149-mile (240-km) range, significantly lower than the 250- to 300-mile (403- to 483-km) minimum most automakers believe is necessary to attract consumers still fence-sitting about BEVs. But Stellantis and its dealers believe there is a market for BEVs at this cost and range in U.S. cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami and Washington, DC.

The 500e keeps the car’s retro-modern look, but with some updates to keep it competitive, compared with the version that was introduced to the U.S. more than a decade ago. A larger 10.3-in. (26-cm) touchscreen runs the Uconnect 5 infotainment system and interior materials and layout have been updated.

Stellantis overall is looking at a big year of BEV launches. Jeep is launching its first BEV, the Wagoneer, as well as the Wrangler-inspired Recon. Dodge will be launching the Charger BEV later this year, while Ram will launch its BEV pickup by the end of the year.

Despite a slowdown in demand, and rumors that the White House will roll back its EV mandates so that 60% of total vehicle sales are BEVs by 2030, Stellantis so far is sticking to its company goal of 50% of its sales being electrified by the end of the decade.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

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