Fiat Panda: An Electric Future?
Stellantis’ financial report release made evident that Fiat is slated to deliver two fresh all-electric vehicles during the second half of 2023. This data is notably pertinent to the US market as the Italian auto builder plans to present their full-electric 500e domestically in 2024.
At the start, we concluded that the 500e was far too tiny to suit the domestic market. In 2019, Fiat made the decision to stop marketing the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) 500 in the USA due to lack of popular attention. That being said, taking into account the developing need for more affordable electric cars, it is obvious Stellantis has faith in the 500e’s potential in America.
Considering this, it is our view that Stellantis is likely to bring in any large vehicles produced by Fiat. Presently, the 500X is the only one supplied by Fiat on the US market and we find no benefit of getting it.
Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis, refrained from naming the duo of electric vehicles they are set to launch, however various speculation exists as to what those could be.
Replacing the Fiat Punto, which is essentially the Italian Ford Fiesta, Stellantis will bring forth a marketable electric alternative. In direct competition with the Chevrolet Bolt and Nissan Leaf should it arrive locally, its build will be very similar to the Peugeot e-208, a model that won multiple awards. Delivering a single electric motor that churns out 154hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, it is fueled by a 51 kWh battery. Assessed to travel up to 225 miles when tested on European WLTP testing standards, this new EV promises much.
There is uncertainty surrounding the moniker of the second model; however, Cross Panda seems to be the logical choice as crossovers have become so popular these days. Other sources posit the return of the Fiat 600 naming, however, emulating the Panda moniker would make even more sense.
Since its debut back in 2003, the brand-new Panda has been very successful. In various ways, the Mk3 Panda was ahead of its time; Fiat had already identified the growing mini-SUV market before any other manufacturer.
A platform for the Panda is already available. The CMP, used by the Jeep Avenger, won’t be distributed in the US. Americans may not accept a relatively small electric Jeep vehicle, but an electrically-powered Fiat Panda should be of interest to young people who like to adopt new technology quickly.
The Avenger is marketed with ICE engines across Europe, making it the perfect successor for the Panda platform. With its ongoing popularity, Fiat won’t go totally electric instantaneously but exploit the few years left before the upcoming European combustion regulations take effect.