Last week, Tesla dropped details on the Cybertruck and maxed-out Cyberbeast. After all that talk of supersized trucks, the North American release of the Fiat 500e buggy hits like a frosty mug of ice water.
Fiat’s owner, Stellantis, said it would bring the popular li’l EV to North America next year (it debuted in Europe in 2020). Today, we learned more about the 2024 500e for North America, including its starting price and initial availability.
Stellantis made no mention of subscriptions or car-sharing in its announcement Tuesday, despite the brand allegedly exploring “alternative business models” for the U.S. Instead, Stellantis said the 500e will hit North American showrooms during the first quarter of 2024, starting with a Product Red model, in collaboration with AIDS-fighting group cofounded by U2’s Bono.
The 500e contrasts the Cyberbeast in just about every way. It’s a little espresso shot after Elon Musk’s groggy-coded Cybertruck event. Fiat said the Red edition of the 3,000-pound 500e packs a 149-mile range and a starting price of $32,500. Meanwhile, the 6,843-pound Tesla pickup features an estimated 320-mile range and a $99,990 price tag. There’s no reason these two vehicles would share many similarities, aside from being electrics. Still, the contrast between the automakers’ successive announcements is stark.
The 500e’s small stature and range may not appear to be upsides, especially in the maximalist North American car market. Yet, there are some serious perks as far as the climate goes. Smaller cars are generally better for the climate, since they demand less energy and fewer materials overall.
Fiat is also focused on serving dense cities with the 500e. In contrast, the Cybertruck and other large pickups would probably choke the narrow roadways Fiat built the 500 for in Europe.
Beyond the Red edition, Fiat said it plans to “drop” other 500e variants gradually in the to “keep the vehicle fresh and interesting.” Fiat didn’t elaborate on when other variants will debut in North America, but the automaker added that each variant will arrive “in a limited quality.”