Fiat wants to convert its 500e to gasoline: what's happening?

With the slowdown in sales of electric cars and competition, Fiat is no longer able to maintain activity in the factories of its Fiat 500e. The electric city car fails to achieve its sales targets. As a solution, the Turin factory wants to convert it to thermal.

The historic site of Mirafiori, in Turin, Italy, is only a shadow of its former self. Despite the government's desire to bring automobile production back to the site, only the 500th (the electric 500) is currently produced there. And due to lack of demand, factories are regularly shut down, making it difficult to save the workforce, with partial unemployment extending over and over again.

In addition, the factory assembles Maseratis. The dependence on electric sales is therefore strong, but given the current low popularity and Fiat's difficulties in the face of competition, the objective of 100,000 Fiat 500e per year has never been reached in four years. Despite being sold in 44 countries in total, only 185,000 copies had been sold at the end of last year.

According to Corriere della Sera, Stellantis would have asked its suppliers to evaluate the costs and industrial capacities of increasing production of the Fiat 500e to 175,000 copies per year. Not that the electric city car would have regained popularity, but the automobile group with 14 brands would be ready to launch a version with a thermal engine.

A 500th… thermal? Yes, even if it seems impossible, Fiat is reportedly considering offering a version of the electric car with a gasoline engine. This would be a real first for a platform “dedicated” to electricity. Unlike the current Peugeot 208, which offers both types of engine, the Fiat 500e was developed to be exclusively electric.

The plan for the new gasoline version of the Fiat 500e would arrive while the current thermal version will be withdrawn from the market. The thermal model would be a way to continue to sell stocks and operate the factories, while waiting for 2027 and a new version of the city car, based on the new common platform developed at Stellantis (STLA Small). A “Pandina” should be released next year, to electrify the Panda and offer a model under 25,000 euros.

Which thermal engine for the electric Fiat 500?

We should expect Fiat to offer a thermal version equipped with the “Firefly” gasoline engine, equipped with three 1.0 cylinders for 70 horsepower and micro-hybridization. This is the current engine of the Fiat 500 Hybrid. Otherwise, the brand's only other possibility would be to equip the 100 hp 1.2 Hybrid unit, which currently equips the Fiat 600. Not sure there is room, that said.

To see if the smallest block of the group would be sufficient for the model, while it has not only made people happy, on the Fiat 500 Hybrid of 2020. In four years of career, it has never shown itself as more greedy than the 1.2 block (6.1 liters per 100 km), nor more efficient. It never rained for his comfort either.

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