As many brands move toward electrification, Fiat is an outlier. Although it sells electric cars overseas, up until recently, the company had announced no plans to bring them to America or any plans to develop a hybrid, PHEV, or electric model in the U.S. Is Fiat the only brand with no plans to sell electric vehicles in America?
Fiat previously had an EV in the U.S.
Until several years ago, Fiat did offer an electric vehicle in the U.S., at least in certain markets. As InsideEVs has explained, Fiat first introduced its 500e in California in 2013. The car came with a remarkably affordable lease deal that allowed would-be lessees to put down as little as $999 and pay only $199 per month. Though the car had limited range, Fiat offered to lend lessees a traditional gas-powered vehicle for up to 12 days per year to make longer trips easier.
Initially, the car proved fairly popular and was snatched up by around 5,000 people per year. However, sales eventually dwindled, and in 2019 the Fiat 500e was discontinued. However, according to TFLCar, Fiat recently introduced an all-new electric 500 at the New York Auto Show. Should we expect it to arrive in the U.S., or is it only destined for overseas consumers?
Other brands plan to start U.S. hybrid and EV sales shortly
Fiat isn’t currently the only brand not to sell EVs in the U.S. However, the difference is that other manufacturers have announced plans to release electric vehicles to the U.S. market in the near future.
Rolls Royce, for example, has developed the electric Rolls Royce Spectre. Unsurprisingly, the car costs a pretty penny and will set buyers back over $400,000. Still, for some, the luxury is worth it. Then there’s Chrysler, which recently teased its new concept car, the 2022 Airflow, at the New York Auto Show.
Additionally, American brands like Ram, Dodge, and GMC have new EVs and PHEVs in the works, and Jeep is getting into the game with PHEVs from its 4xe lineup. All in all, it’s clear that many manufacturers are making headway with plans to introduce new EVs to the U.S. market, but, for whatever reason, Fiat has been lagging behind.
Fiat sells a new electric 500 overseas (and in America, soon!)
After the original Fiat electric 500/500e was canceled in the U.S., a new generation debuted but was exclusively sold overseas for years. So, while off limits to Americans, others could take advantage of this car’s 199-mile range and ability to charge for a full day’s 30-mile commute in just 5 minutes.
Overseas, the electric 500 comes in three different styles: Hatchback. Cabrio, and 3+1. Available trims on the vehicle include La Prima by Bocelli, Icon, Red, and Action. The various trims offer different luxury interior finishes, as well as specific detailing. MotorTrend tested out the vehicle not too long ago and declared it “punchy and fun.” It praised the car’s lightweight, torque, and general responsiveness. The new electric 500 also includes advanced technology, such as Traffic Jam Assist, which can automatically maintain a proper distance between you and the cars in front of you and help you stay in your lane.
Up until recently, Americans could only admire this model from afar. However, in November 2022, Fiat announced a new Fiat 500e would be heading stateside at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show. From Stellantis, Olivier Francois, FIAT CEO and global CMO Stellantis introduce the return of the EV to the U.S., saying, “We want to introduce America to EVs with our icon, the Fiat 500, because this is the right thing to do.” However, it still might be a while until Americans can get behind its wheel. An official debut of the American model will come in 2023, with availability for purchase in early 2024.
The 500e clearly has a lot to offer the customer interested in green transportation, so here’s hoping that it makes its way to the U.S. market soon. It would certainly help the company’s plans to go all-electric by 2030. Moreover, with the price of gas where it’s been lately, the small electric car’s arrival couldn’t come a moment too soon.