Fiat 500e: An Italian Goes Electric

Francois did not specify a price range for the reimagined model, but it is expected that the 500 would head north in price along with luxury features -- it's difficult to imagine an electric 500 priced on par with gasoline versions at the moment. But the new electric 500 will not replace the current 500 on the market, according to Francois; instead, it will complement the gasoline-engined version. This means that the current platform, already 12 years old, will soldier on as Fiat goes the electric route with a more upscale model. There is still plenty of demand for gas-engined 500s around the world (if not in the U.S.) -- demand that Fiat would not be able to replicate solely with an electric offering.

It's worth noting that Fiat's plans for an all-new electric 500 would go beyond the 500e model that the brand still offers, one that is based closely on the current-generation model. It is expected that the current 500e would be dropped in a year when the more luxury-oriented model arrives.

Fiat's planned course for the 500 will mirror that of Volkswagen and its retro models. The German automaker plans to bring back the VW Bus as a battery-electric model in just a few years, having already greenlit the electric MPV.

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