2024 Fiat 500e, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
Fiat 500e is the name of a battery electric automobile made by Italian car manufacturer Fiat from 2013-2019. It was an electric conversion of the internal combustion Fiat 500, and was sold in the US states of California and Oregon as a “compliance car” to earn clean energy credits for Fiat Chrysler.
The Fiat New 500 (2020), a dedicated battery electric vehicle model sold in Europe, is often referred to colloquially as the 500e, although Fiat does not refer to it as such in any official marketing materials.
2024 Fiat 500e First Look
Fiat is in a pretty sorry state in the U.S. at the moment, only selling the bloated and awkward Fiat 500X hatchback SUV stateside after discontinuing everything else it offered after the 2019 model year. In Europe, the brand has introduced an all-new, all-electric version of its Fiat 500 hatchback city car, and now at this year’s Los Angeles auto show, Fiat CEO Francois Olivier has confirmed the 2024 Fiat 500e is officially coming (back) to America.
F.I.A.T.: Fiat In America Tomorrow
This would mark the second time in as many decades that Fiat has attempted to make a splashy dent in the U.S. car market, now trying again with the 2024 Fiat 500e after a few years of middling sales generally. Though it’s going to take a few years to get anywhere, we should point out that, before the old 500 was discontinued in America, it still outsold the other cars in Fiat’s lineup, namely the (also-now-dead) 500L van thing and the 500X that survives today.
Even so, that version was primarily gas-powered; the electric 500e variant was sold in limited markets, and even then-Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne complained that every single one was a money loser.
As it’s sold in Europe today, the new 500e thoroughly moves past the sad-sack last-gen version with its sub-100-mile range and slow charging. (The old 500e was a so-called “compliance car,” built to satisfy certain regulations requiring the sale of electric vehicles in certain markets, and its execution belied its checked-box existence.) Entry-level 500es are attractive and have far more upscale-looking cabins than the old 500s did, and they get a 24-kWh battery pack good for about 150 miles of range.
The 400-volt architecture allows the battery to charge to full in about four hours at 11 kilowatts of power, and can accept up to 85 kW of fast charging rates. A higher-output version offering about 200 miles of range is available with a 42-kWh pack.
In the meantime, Fiat is preoccupying us at this year’s auto show with three one-off models that show off what “Made In Italy” means, highlighting the craftsmanship, creativity, and sophistication of three Italian designers on a car the brand dubs the “ultimate fashion accessory.”
Giorgio Armani’s 500e
The “500 Armani” from Giorgio Armani’s fashion house takes a 500e into haute couture, incorporating laser-etching on a majority of the exterior bodywork to create a two-tone patterned effect without the fancy paint job that Fiat claims is “polluting.”
The micro-chevron pattern that results from the laser etching is meant to emulate the three dimensional qualities of working with fabrics, like green silk in this case, according to Armani. The rest of the body is coated in a special opaque paint that is UV-light activated to somehow “reduce air pollutants.”
Inside, there’s full-grain real “greyge-colored” leather sourced from Poltrona Frau, an Italian furniture company, contrasted with micro-chevron patterned bands of wool, and accented by reconstituted open-pore wood with aluminum inlays inspired by the current house of Armani line.
500e By Kartell
Kartell, an Italian sustainable plastic and metal furniture company, also had a crack at a one-off all-electric 500. This one focuses most materials in a monochrome shade of the brand’s “Kartell blue” color derivative of “Yves Klein blue,” for all you color nerds out there.
The exterior bodywork is all done in blue mirror-effect with “an environmentally-friendly chrome paint.” (Fiat competitor Mini recently announced it was cutting chrome altogether due to its negative environmental effects.) The car’s logos are sand-blasted polycarbonate for a sense of depth.
The grille, wheels, and mirror caps are made of recycled parabolic projector materials, and their detailing is inspired by Kartell’s famous Kabuki lamp from designer Ferruccio Laviani.
That motif carries through the interior on the dashboard and seats, and all tactile plastics and fabrics are entirely made of recycled materials.
Never Too Much Bulgari
The Bulgari jeweler designed “Mai Troppo” Fiat 500e is all about beauty and craftsmanship, roughly translating to “Never Too Much.” The company says the bright saffron paintwork is inspired by the “chromatic variegation of Roman sunsets.” (Rome is a city in Italy, and it used to also be the name of multiple historical Italian empires. It’s not clear to us which Rome Bulgari is referencing here.)
The paint is mixed with gold dust scrapped from jewelry production which is meant to make the car look and feel like a big blood-orange “jewel.”
The wheels are modeled after the famous Bulgari star symbol in a black lacquer accented with golden trim and gold badging. Inside, the dashboard is made of heritage Bulgari silk scarves “of the past,” which might mean they’re recycled? The seats get “Diva” pattern embroidered leather with gold details and silk scarf inserts.
There’s also a removable gem tray of sorts, with a “Fiat” brooch featuring semi-precious amethyst, topaz, and citrine stones mounted in the center of the steering wheel. Imagine the airbag going off behind that!
On Sale 2024
Fiat CEO Olivier announced that the “official” final reveal of the U.S.-bound Fiat 500e will take place at next year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, where it will be used to announce that order books will open near the end of 2023. At the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show, Olivier added that the U.S. 500e will get 162 lb-ft of torque and go from 0 to 30 mph in 3.0 seconds. It can juice up to 30 miles of range in just 5 minutes on a 85 kW fast-charger.
We don’t think any of these fashion house one-offs will make it to production, but perhaps some of the more sustainable elements do. Fiat says the soonest you can expect to receive a new 500e in the U.S. is the first quarter of 2024. Based on our experiences so far in the Euro versions, it should prove more stylish and altogether more substantial than its predecessor; and if it’s priced right, it might find some appeal among budget EV shoppers looking for a fun, small, electric runabout.
Stellantis is preparing to make Fiat showrooms cute again with the reintroduction of the 500 city car for the 2024 model year. This time around, the two-door hatchback will be offered only in electric 500e guise, likely powered by a 117-hp electric motor juiced by a 32.3-kWh battery pack. This setup is already on sale in Europe, where it carries a driving range estimate of up to 199 miles per charge—a number we expect to shrink slightly when the EPA does its testing for America.
The 500e retains its retro-modern appeal but with an updated exterior and interior that should help its stylish appeal. A large 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system will likely run the Uconnect 5 software interface, and interior materials appear to have taken a big step up from the overly plasticky cabin of the previous-generation car.
When the 500e goes on sale in 2024, it will face stiff competition from other EVs that offer more interior space and longer driving ranges, but like the gasoline-powered model that relaunched the Fiat brand in the U.S. in 2011, the new 500e’s hopes are pinned on it winning buyers over with its adorable looks and Italian charm.
What’s New for 2024?
The 500e is new for 2024 after taking a break from the U.S. market since the 2019 model year. A production version is scheduled to bow at the 2023 Los Angeles Auto Show and will go on sale in the first quarter of 2024.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
It’s too early to guess what trim levels the 2024 500e will be offered in, but if it mirrors that of the 500X SUV, we should see an entry-level Pop trim and a stylish Sport. When we find out more about the 500e’s pricing and standard features, we’ll update this story with those details and a recommendation on which one to buy.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
Fiat hasn’t disclosed what will power the 500e when it goes on sale in North America, but it’s likely to use the higher-powered 117-hp electric motor from the European version. Front-wheel drive will likely be the only option and we’re not holding our breath for Tesla-like acceleration. The last-generation 500e came with a 111-hp electric motor and needed 8.4 seconds to hit 60 mph in our testing. The new model should offer similar performance. When we get a chance, we’ll take the new 500e on a test drive and update this story with driving impressions.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
In other parts of the world, the 500e is offered with one of two battery packs, the larger of which offers up to 199 miles of driving per the European WLTP cycle’s estimates. We think that will be a difficult number to hit in real-world driving in America and expect an EPA range of closer to 160 miles per charge if Fiat offers that same battery pack in the U.S. variant of the car.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Although it’s still roughly the same size and shape as the last-generation 500e, the new model’s interior looks more upscale and features more contemporary technology. Three fashionable concepts shown at the 2022 Los Angeles Auto Show give a look at what Fiat can do to increase the car’s style quotient, although we doubt any one of them will make it to production.
The car will likely be offered in hatchback and convertible forms, the latter featuring a cloth roof that retracts while leaving the roof’s side pillars in place. In Europe, Fiat sells a model with a novel 3+1 door layout, where a small half door opens on the passenger’s side to aid entry to the rear seat. It’s unclear if that model will make it to the United States.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The Fiat 500e will likely come with a large 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and more modern software than the last model. A digital gauge display is also likely to be standard, with readouts for not only speed but also state of charge for the battery. Fiat hasn’t released a full list of the 500e’s standard and optional features, but we expect to see wireless smartphone charging on the menu as well as in-dash navigation, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
- Fiat announced today that its adorable 500 minicar will return to the North America market after a four-year absence.
- Unlike the previous-generation car, the 500 will be sold here only as the electric 500e.
- The new 500e is already on sale in Europe and we expect that the North American version will come with that car’s 117-hp electric motor and offer a driving range of about 150 miles per charge.
After Fiat discontinued the 500 and 500L models in North America a few years back, we’ve been skeptical about the future of the brand. The 500X SUV is the only Fiat currently sold on our shores, but now a completely redesigned 500e electric hatchback is on the way to give Fiat a boost in the U.S. market.
Based on the 500 city car that’s sold in Europe already, the 500e will go on sale here as a 2024 model. Although the company has said the motor will offer 162 lb-ft of torque, Fiat has so far been tight-lipped on details about U.S. specs for the rest of the 500e’s electric powertrain and battery pack. We suspect it will port over exactly as it is sold in Europe, with the larger of the two available battery packs, a 37.3-kWh unit, and an electric motor driving the front wheels that can provide up to 117 horsepower.
With the larger battery, the 500e carries a range estimate of 199 miles on the European WLTP cycle, but Fiat says the North American version will offer an estimated range of about 150 miles per charge based on initial testing.
The 500e appears to be coming to the U.S. in both hardtop hatchback and softtop convertible body styles, although there’s no word yet on if the European version’s 3+1 door configuration will make the leap. With help from Italian fashion houses Armani and Bulgari as well as contemporary furniture design firm Kartell, Fiat has shown three one-off concept cars at the 2022 Los Angeles auto show that highlight the car’s fashionable styling.
The Armani 500e, for example, features a special exterior paint treatment with a laser-etched chevron pattern meant to make it look like fabric. The Kartell version uses sustainable plastics to dress up the car’s interior, and the Bulgari model sports an upscale appearance inside and out with colorful embroidered upholstery and a matching mural on the dashboard. That version also features a removable brooch with inset amethyst, topaz, and citrine gemstones mounted at the center of the steering wheel. We don’t expect such an option to make it to production, sadly.
Those in the know will remember that the 500e version of the previous-gen car was sold here back through the 2019 model year, although its availability was limited to California and Oregon. That model was a big money loser for the brand, with former Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne famously telling Reuters in 2014 that he hoped not too many people would buy it because his company lost about $14,000 on each one.
This time around, the 500e is poised to present a better business case. For starters, it’ll likely be offered for sale in more states, and we expect it will carry a higher starting price than the 2019 version, which retailed for around $34,000.
The 500e will be among the first EVs to reach the U.S. from Fiat’s parent company, Stellantis. While rivals such as General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen have rapidly launched EV models, Stellantis has lagged. The company has shown flashy concepts such as the Chrysler Airflow and the Dodge Charger Daytona, but those cars are still in the concept stage. Since the 500e is already on sale in other parts of the world, it may beat those vehicles to production.
Fiat says the production version of the 500e will debut next year at the 2023 Los Angeles auto show, and by then we’ll likely know more about the car’s powertrain, battery, and driving range.
2024 Fiat 500e videos