While we’ve seen the Fiat 500e in North America in small quantities over the few years it was available, 2024 marks the arrival of a new version. It’s the first time since the Stellantis conglomerate was formed that we’re seeing a fully-electrified (or battery EV) vehicle from any of the 2,000 or so brands it encompasses here in North America. OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but the story remains the same: the fully-electric era has arrived at Stellantis.
The 500e will eventually be available in a number of trims, but the first to drop will be called the (500e)RED. Odd formatting aside – there are no typos there, we swear – (RED) is a reference to the movement started by U2’S Bono – who features in the car’s reveal video — and lawyer-activist Bobby Shriver to create products and events that support AIDS awareness. For the 500e, the association provides red painted exterior mirrors no matter which of the three available colours you choose (black, white, red), special 17-inch diamond cut alloys and red dashboard. In terms of AIDS awareness, a donation form each sale will be made to the Project (RED) global fund.
In addition to being the only Stellantis BEV on sale in North America, the 500e is also the lightest BEV passenger vehicle on the market, weighing in at 1,361 kilograms. That helps it achieve a range of 240 km from a 42 kWh battery and a level II charge time of just over four hours; Fiat partner Mopar will sell you a level II charger upon vehicle purchase. Fiat is claiming 35 minutes for a 0-80 per cent charge time on a 85 kW DC fast charger and that’s fine, but with the range Fiat is claiming the 500e will likely be used as mainly a city car; think Mini Cooper S E or even Mazda MX-30. The small battery size helps contribute to that low curb weight and leaves enough room inside for occupants and their wares. Indeed, the 500 has always been attractive in that it manages to pack quite a lot in to its small footprint, and Fiat would be loathe to compromise that too much with a larger battery. Overall, the 500e is longer and wider than the previous 500.
Of course, the 500e will feature the requisite drive modes to make getting the most out of your charge as possible: Normal, Range and Sherpa. You gotta love that last one; not only is the name unique, but it coordinates with your GPS to ensure that you’ll have enough power to reach your inputted destination. There’s also one-pedal driving that will provide full stop-and-go progress in traffic and maximum battery regeneration.
Speaking of tech: the latest version of Uconnect infotainment will be on board and supports Amazon Alexa as well as “Hey, Fiat” voice commands, along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
No word yet on what trims will be available past (500e)RED, but when it goes on sale in early 2024 – only Quebec and BC will be getting it at the outset – it will start at $39,995, which means eligibility for both federal and provincial EV rebates.
Look for further information on the ’24 500e closer to its release date early next year.