Recently, Fiat Chrysler (FCA)’s chief for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Pietro Gorlier, announced that the Italian-American company would be placing its biggest single bet on an electric vehicle on the next-generation Fiat 500e. It’s quite a bet, too. FCA plans to build 80,000 of the things at its Mirafiori plant in Turin, northern Italy.

That car, set to launch in 2020 as a 2021 model, is believed to rely heavily on the Fiat Concept Centoventi revealed back in March. It will also be the first all-electric vehicle that Fiat will market in Europe– which, seeing as how Renault and Nissan have been successfully selling EVs in Europe for over a decade, seems kind of incredible to me. Like, incredible in the, “I can’t believe Fiat is so far behind everyone else in Europe,” sense, you know?

Despite the late start, Fiat seems serious enough about building EVs that it’s committed more than 5.6 billion dollars (USD) to upgrade the company’s Mirafiori plant to produce all manner of electric cars by 2021. Of that budget, at least 700 million euros ($788 million) will be spent specifically developing the all-new 500e electric cars. And, to their credit, Fiat have baked some pretty cool features into it their upcoming EV platform. Consider some of these innovative “key features”, below …

  • The batteries are modular and replaceable. Fiat Centoventi comes standard with a 100 km range and the option to buy (or lease) up to three additional batteries plus a fourth that can be stored under the seat.

  • Customizable seats made with eco-friendly materials inspired by the latest athletic footwear. No cloth. No springs. Only foam that is washable, removable and adjustable in density for personalized comfort.

  • The interactive tailgate can also be used as a personal billboard, making it the first car that can earn you money when parked.

  • A patented lock-system that allows you to plug in an infinite selection of add-ons to customize your car when and how you want.

  • Bumpers made in memory foam that are resilient, anti-scratch and, above all, easy and cheap to replace.

  • The vertical slots of the grill also function as a charge indicator.

… then take some time to look over the photo galleries and let us know what you think of the future Fiat in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Will it be a hot seller? Will it be the beginning of the end for Fiat in the US market? Will Tesla, Nissan, etc. keep pulling ahead? Place your bets!


Fiat 500e Concept Centoventi | Prototype

Fiat 500e Concept Centoventi | Art

Source | Images: Fiat Chrysler (FCA), via Green Car Reports, Reuters.