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Fiat’s first electrified models pave way for fully-electric 500e

Fiat is launching mild hybrid versions of the 500 city car and Panda supermini, heralding the brand’s first electrified models ahead of the arrival of the fully electric 500e this year.

Fiat 500 and Fiat Panda mild hybrids in Launch Edition

The Fiat 500 and Panda mild hybrid models are powered by new three-cylinder petrol engines from the FireFly family, combined with a 12-volt belt-integrated starter generator and delivering 70hp at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 92Nm at 3,500rpm, married up to a six-speed manual transmission.

According to the brand, the mild hybrid technology – initially arriving in ‘Launch Editions’ – reduces CO2 emissions on the road by up to 30%, depending on the model, compared to the outgoing 1.2-litre 69hp petrol engine, while also bringing improved fuel efficiency.

The arrival of Fiat’s first electrified models is somewhat belated compared to rivals but developments will swiftly accelerate with this year’s arrival of the all-electric 500, likely to be priced as a premium product just as combustion-engine versions have been, and backed up by plug-in services, including for fleets.

Last summer also saw Luca Napolitano, head of Fiat and Abarth brands for EMEA region, tell Fleet World that the company sees a longer-term opportunity for an accessible electric city car positioned within the other half of its line-up.

Overall, the brand is planning to invest more than €9bn in electrification technologies to introduce 30 new battery or hybrid models by 2022 while ditching diesels – across its car line-up anyway – by 2021.

FCA is also working on a range of charging solutions to support its forthcoming plug-in models under a new deal with Engie Group.

In the meantime, the 500 Mild Hybrid and the Panda Mild Hybrid Launch Editions can be ordered from January at Fiat retailers across Europe. The first customer deliveries will arrive in the first quarter of 2020.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news - or gossip.