Two-and-a-half years after Europe, the Fiat 500e electric city car is due in Australian showrooms in 2023. Pricing and other details are yet to be confirmed.
The 2023 Fiat 500e electric city hatch is due to launch in Australia in the first half of next year, the car maker’s local division has confirmed – in the process assuring the future of the Fiat brand in Australia.
Revealed more than two years ago – and launched in Europe later in 2020 – the Fiat 500e is the belated successor to the current 500 on sale in Australia since 2008, and will be available solely with electric power.
The 14-year-old petrol-powered Fiat 500 is expected to be sold alongside the electric version in Australia for the foreseeable future.
The 500e will become only Fiat’s second remaining passenger car on sale in Australia (in addition to the Ducato van), after a chronic shortage of all-new model launches, and the discontinuation of its two other cars: the 500X SUV in 2021, and the Abarth 124 Spider roadster in 2020.
While the electric Fiat 500 has been sold in Europe alongside its petrol-powered predecessor since launch, production of the petrol 500 is due to end in the coming years.
Details of local pricing and specifications for the Fiat 500e are yet to be confirmed, and it remains to be seen which of the three body styles available overseas – conventional hatchback, convertible, or a ‘3+1’ hatch with a second door on the passenger side – will be offered locally.
Either way, the compact Fiat could become one of Australia’s most affordable electric vehicles – if it can undercut or be priced close to the $44,990 drive-away BYD Atto 3 and $46,990 drive-away MG ZS EV.
In the UK, the entry-level Fiat 500e is priced in line with a top-of-the-range Toyota Yaris Hybrid – which costs about $36,500 drive-away – while the flagship hatchback is on par with the Nissan Leaf and MG ZS EV, at upwards of $50,000 drive-away.
For context, the current petrol-powered Fiat 500 range is priced from $19,550 plus on-road costs for an entry-level 500 Lounge manual hatch, to $27,650 plus on-roads for a flagship Dolcevita automatic convertible. The Abarth hot hatch range costs more still, at more than $34,000.
Base Fiat 500e models overseas are powered by 23.8kWh battery packs and 70kW electric motors, good for a modest 180km of claimed WLTP driving range – with real-world range likely even lower – and a 9.5-second 0-100km/h time.
More likely for Australian showrooms is a 42kWh pack and 87kW motor, translating to 320km of WLTP driving range – on par with an MG ZS EV – and a 9.0-second 0-100km/h acceleration time.
DC fast charging at up to 85kW is offered with the bigger battery, claimed to allow a zero to 80 per cent charge in 35 minutes, or add 50km of claimed range in as little as five minutes.
The 2023 Fiat 500e electric car range is due in Australian showrooms in the first half of next year, barring no further delays.