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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) was once an automobile group that seemed to be at odds with alternative fuel and electric vehicles. Aside from the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, there wasn’t a whole lot of development for going green. Then in the summer of 2018, Fiat Chrysler announced a game plan for an alternative fuel lineup, filled with many of the vehicles we love, but with a new powertrain. This is already evident with the Jeep 4xe series, with the Jeep Compass 4xe and Renegade 4xe already on sale in Europe. One other vehicle was also recently released, this time in Italy, and it just flew under the radar. It’s the new Fiat BEV 500.
The last we heard about the new Fiat BEV 500, it was exactly one year ago. FCA was already fast to get to work and start production of the new BEV 500, upgraded and redesigned for a new age of alternative fuel vehicles. This is just a sample of what the automobile group plans to do with a $10 billion investment into electric vehicle development over the next 2.5 years. $800 million alone went into the new battery-electric Fiat 500, produced at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, northern Italy. In total, the plant produced 80,000 500 EV units.
It seems there were a few name changes during this time, but FCA first presented the all-new Fiat 500 in Milan, Italy. Under the hood of this all-electric vehicle is a 42-kWh lithium-ion battery and an 85-kW fast charger for making charging up when on the road fast and easy. Although we don’t expect much out of an electric vehicle when it comes to horsepower and performance, the Fiat 500 is still pretty impressive. The battery is tied to an electric motor with an output of 87 kW, or 116 horsepower. Enough power to get this little EV from 0-60 mph in just nine seconds, and from 0-30 in 3.1 seconds – perfect for the city and speeding up when getting on the highway.
With a new design, the all-new Fiat 500 measures 2.4 inches wider and 2.4 inches longer, with a wheelbase extension of 0.8 inches. It’s still a small car, but it’s packed with technology. Consumers can get level 2 autonomous driving on the new 500 with intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) and Lane Centering. Plus, the new Fiat 500 is the only Fiat vehicle to come equipped with the new generation Uconnect 5 infotainment system, able to be powered on a 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen. Uconnect 5 is where the money is with Amazon Alexa integration, customizable interfaces, Sirius XM with 360L and Personalized Stations Powered by Pandora, voice recognition engine software, and more.
Now, we don’t mean to be a heartbreaker, but here’s the sad news. As great as it seems, the new Fiat 500 has not yet been confirmed for a release in the states. During this time, FCA is evaluating the potential of electric vehicles for the North American market. However, if the automobile group wants to expand its reach of electric vehicles and their popularity, keeping the new Fiat 500 in Italy seems like the wrong move. What do you think? Let us know on NowCar social media.