Can electric power save the Italian marque's dismal US sales?
One by one, the world's leading automakers have announced the dates whereby their entire fleet will transition to fully electric power. Increasingly, 2030 seems to be the big year for this dramatic shift from combustion power. In April, Cadillac said that it would only have EVs by 2030. Bentley is another company to commit to 2030 as its goal while Jaguar has an even more ambitious 2025 deadline.
The latest automaker to say that it would move over to a full battery-electric lineup by 2030 is Fiat. While not a big player in the US, Fiat has experienced more success with its compact models in other markets.
In a recent statement, Fiat boss Olivier Francois committed to the gradual transition to electric power. "Between 2025 and 2030, our product lineup will gradually become electric-only," he said. "This will be a radical change for Fiat."
The charming Fiat New 500, the successor to the 500 - one of the brand's most successful cars - was revealed last year and has already transitioned to a battery-electric powertrain. It's a pity that small cars and North America don't gel as it would likely have been one of the cheapest EVs had it been sold here.
"It is our duty to bring to market electric cars that cost no more than those with an internal combustion engine, as soon as we can, in line with the falling costs of batteries," said Francois. He went on to say that even prior to the pandemic, the company decided that the new 500 would rely purely on electric propulsion. Francois announced the 2030 goal as part of a discussion with Stefano Boeri, an architect and urban planner, centered around World Environment Day.
All this being said, it's doubtful that electrification could save Fiat's slow-selling lineup in the US which includes the 124 Spider and the 500L.