Fiat to become electric-only brand worldwide by 2030
7 June 2021 - Autocar
Italian manufacturer will aim to improve access to electric cars and lower the barrier to entry
Italian manufacturer Fiat has committed to becoming an electric-only brand by 2030, pledging to phase out all combustion-engined models from its global line-up from 2025 onwards.
The firm recently launched a new electric-only version of its hugely popular 500 city car, which will be sold alongside the existing combustion-engined 500. The firm said it wanted to improve access to electric cars, lower the barrier to entry, including improving the charging infrastructure, and contribute towards improving air quality.
"Between 2025 and 2030, our product line-up will gradually become electric only. This will be a radical change for Fiat," said Fiat boss Olivier François.
"The decision to launch the new 500 – electric and electric alone – was actually taken before Covid-19. Even then, we were already aware that the world could not take any more compromises. We were reminded of the urgency of taking action, of doing something for the planet Earth."
Fiat is the latest brand to commit to heavily or fully electifying its fleet in the wake of increasingly tough leglisation. Several countries, including the UK, have already committed to banning sales of virtually all new non-zero-emission cars from 2030 onwards, but Fiat's commitment to become electric only by that date will apply in countries where ICE sales are still allowed.
The move fits with Fiat's increased focus on city cars, led by the popularity of the 500. It also helps differentiate the brand from other mainstream marques in the Stellantis group, such as Vauxhall and Citroën.
Fiat has given no details of plans for future EVs beyond the new 500, but the brand says production will not be limited to city cars. In 2019, it unveiled the Centoventi Concept EV, which effectively previewed a next-generation Fiat Panda. While that car is likely to use the Fiat-developed small platform that underpins the new 500, it is likely the firm will also develop EVs on Stellantis's STLA platform, which is used by the Peugeot e208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e.
The Turin-based firm says it will aim to improve the availability of charging stations for communities who do not have regular access, such as those in apartments, and look to increase the number of fast-charging points.
Fiat confirmed its switch to an EV-only brand while announcing plans to rethink urban environments for the EV age. The project will result in the conversion of the roof of the Lingotto factory in Turin to feature 28,000 plants, in an attempt to improve air quality.