learn from the unexpected success of the Fiat 500e

Great success for the Fiat 500e! The new generation of the famous Italian city car has since the beginning of the year stood on the podium of the best-selling electric cars in Europe… With 38,000 registrations during the first seven months of the year, it is behind the Model Y and the Tesla Model 3. Better, it climbs to first place in Germany, one of the most difficult markets in Europe and reserved for Volkswagen, but also in Italy. Even combining sales of the ID.3 and ID.4 over eight months in Europe, the German marque fails to match the little Italian’s performance.

Triple production?

At Fiat, production cannot keep up with demand. When he visited the Mirafiori factory in Turin, Carlos Tavares promised to double or even triple the production of the Fiat 500e, notes the specialized website Automobile Propre. Provided that the supply of semiconductors allows it.

This city car, which aims to be the successor of the Fiat 500 launched in 2007 in a purely retro style reminiscent of the famous “yogurt pot” of the 1960s, is the first real 100% electric car from the Italian group, but also its first commercial launch after several years without new products. Its success is due to its renewed timeless design, but also thanks to a unique price positioning, which allows it to be the only truly competitive European electric car against Chinese electric cars (MG, Aiways, Serres). Until September, it was thus shown at 25,000 euros excluding public subsidies. There was hardly a Dacia spring to be cheaper, but which is placed at entry-level and moreover produced in China.

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Little autonomy

To show such a price, the Fiat 500 e had decided to offer a version with a small 23 kWh battery, which gives it a range of 190 km in WLTP standards. This version was launched in 2021 and now accounts for 50% of sales. The Fiat 500e thus assumes its role as another car that fulfills the essentials of daily use (homework, shopping, leisure, etc.). On average, the French drive 40 km a day.

Above all, the Fiat 500e thwarts the principle of ever-increasing autonomy that automakers have developed in recent years to reassure consumers, but which has led to sky-high prices. In a context of high inflation, this model is weakened. Tesla keeps raising the prices of its Model 3, while the Megane E-Tech costs more than 37,000 euros. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has just passed the threshold from which it is no longer eligible for public subsidies in France. These products face stiff competition from Chinese brands. MG thus sells SUVs around 30,000 euros or even less. And the Fiat 500e is no exception to the rule, as Torino has decided to drastically increase its asking price since September 1st. Its tariff scale thus starts at 30,000 euros, an increase of… 20%! It is nevertheless the cheapest “Western” electric car.

Same sire as competitor

But not long since the Fiat 500e will face other competition next year with the arrival of a 100% electric Renault R5 (whose price positioning is not yet known). These two cars share the same paternity, as it is Luca de Meo, former boss of the Italian brand who relaunched the Fiat 500 in the 2000s in the retro style, and who decided to do the same by taking the helm of Renault with the emblematic city car from the 1980s. Problem for Fiat, the diamond brand has more than fifteen years of feedback regarding electromobility and promises a particularly efficient engine. Indeed, Torino relies on the indelible charm that made the success of the thermal 500, launched in 2007 and still on sale today.

Fiat 500e: electric, it fits so well