In Depth

Fiat 500 electric 2020: design details, price, specs and release date

Everything we know so far about the Italian marque’s first mass-production EV

An electric version of the Fiat 500 hatchback will spearhead a five-model “renewal” plan in a bid to revamp its ageing European range. 

In an interview with Autocar, Fiat chief executive Olivier François said the company hopes to capitalise on the market’s shift to “urban mobility”, which will see a new addition to the 500 model line-up that combines a zero-emission powertrain with a more practical design compared to today’s compact 500 city car. 

“For our future product plan, we need the right balance between the two dimensions: the Fiat 500 family and family transportation”, he said. “There will be no big cars, no premium cars, no sporty cars because they have no legitimacy.”

“We need more EVs”, François added, “and we need more 500 models that look legitimate enough to take higher pricing.”

Other models included in the product push are a new version of the 500X crossover and an estate model known as the 500 Giardiniera, Autocar notes. New Panda and Tipo models are also expected in the next few years.

The news comes a month after the Italian carmaker allocated some £700m towards reconfiguring its Mirafiori Plant in Turin to prepare for the electrified 500. 

When will the electric 500 release?

The launch of the electrified 500, the company’s first mass-produced EV, may be just around the corner. 

According to Auto Express, Fiat will take the covers off its new EV at next year’s Geneva Motor Show, which runs from 5 to 15 March. 

How much will it cost?

Not as much as its key rivals, such as the BMW i3 and Volkswagen ID.3.

Speaking to Top Gear in March, François noted that “over half of Fiat 500s sold in 2018 cost €22,000-€24,000”. With this in mind, the company intends to position the electrified model somewhere between those figures. 

Design

It’s not yet known what the Fiat 500 electric will look like, given that there are more than six months to go before the car’s release. 

However, Motor1 says the vehicle will spawn a new production platform that has been “specifically” designed for the company’s upcoming electric models.

The 500 EV “will be bigger” to make room for the car’s batteries, which will be positioned underneath the cabin, though it’s expected to retain the “stylistic canons” that have been present on all models since the city car’s initial release in 1957, the motoring site says. 

It’s also believed the EV will sport “suicide doors”, where the rear doors are hinged at opposite ends “to improve access”, says Autocar. This should allow the car to compete against “premium superminis such as the five-door Mini”, too. 

Battery and range

When speaking to Top Gear earlier this year, François refused to confirm exact figures but said that Fiat wants to strike a balance between range and price. 

“Collectively as carmakers, we’ve been thinking about giving people a choice of 200km [124 miles] range, because we didn’t dare say 100km [62 miles] range – it sounds too low,” he told the motoring site.

At the other end of the scale, 400km (248 miles) would be too expensive, he said, adding that 200km would be a good “compromise”. 

“It makes sense to make the best offer of range and embed it in a premium-priced car. That’s the way we’ll go with the 500,” François concluded.

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