The Fiat 500e, Which Is Only Sold As An EV, Might Get A Gas Engine Option Too

By automotive-mag.com 3 Min Read

The latest generation of the cute Fiat 500 urban hatchback is only available as an electric vehicle–and it’s coming to the United States, too. However, the previous generation that came to life way back in 2007 is still going strong on the Old Continent powered by combustion engines.

But that might change soon, as the European Union’s updated cybersecurity law will reportedly prevent Fiat from selling the almost 20-year-old ICE urban runabout. One possible solution? Convert the new 500e to run on gasoline.

While that might seem counterintuitive, seeing how Fiat had its sights set on only offering the new 500 as a battery-powered vehicle, the market reality is that the old, combustion-powered model is still a strong competitor in Europe. According to Jato Dynamics, a little over 170,000 units of the Fiat and Abarth 500 were sold last year in Europe, of which almost 109,000 were gasoline models.

As a result, Fiat sent a letter to its suppliers asking if they could help with an annual production increase of almost 100,000 units at the Mirafiori plant in Italy, according to Il Corriere Della Sera. At the same time, Automotive News Europe, citing some of Fiat’s suppliers, wrote that nearly the entire production increase will be represented by gas cars.

The same cybersecurity law that might affect the previous-gen Fiat 500 prompted Porsche to pull the plug on the gas-powered Macan and 718 in the EU. Those models will still live on in countries where the cybersecurity requirements are more lenient, including the United States, while customers in the EU will get all-electric new generations for both models.

Another option would be to update the old model to comply with the new law, but that might prove to be less cost-effective than converting the EV to run on gasoline. That’s because most, if not all of the electric architecture would need to be changed or updated.

Currently, the gasoline Fiat 500 is made in Poland, while the new 500e is made at the company’s iconic Mirafiori plant, on the same assembly line that was used to build the ICE Alfa Romeo MiTo.

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