As one of the top selling electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe, the Fiat 500e is one of Stellantis’ greatest triumphs of its electrification journey to date. In fact, the company even topped Tesla in sales rankings across the continent in 2022 while the demand in the industry seemed to fall slightly over that period.
The reduction in automotive purchases and the growing pressure to decarbonise leave automakers one choice, and one choice only—to reduce the cost of switching to an electrified vehicle.
Alongside range, the other talk of the industry is around cost and how to get more drivers into zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), and the likely choice is either a plug-in hybrid—for now—or an EV.
Driving electric vehicle traffic
To drive more interest in its cars, Stellantis devised an EV grant through the Fiat brand to incentivise to extend the support that was once offered by the UK Government.
Offering the £3,000 Fiat E-Grant is not only a bigger contribution that was provided by the Government, but is also a great incentive to allow more consumers to get their hands on the Fiat 500e or the 500e Convertible.
This comes as the UK’s EV growth slows with a 65% year-on-year drop in sales, and providing more incentive to buy electric will hopefully bridge the gap in funding for plug-in hybrid purchases.
“There’s no doubt the government’s Plug-in Car Grant successfully kickstarted the UK’s electric car revolution – it supported the sale of nearly half a million electric cars,” says Damien Dally, Managing Director, Fiat UK.
“We also appreciate it refocusing funding towards one of the main barriers to the electric vehicle transition, public charging.
“However, with the cost-of-living crisis and rising cost of electric vehicles, coupled with our net zero climate targets, we believe more needs to be done to incentivise individuals to be able to afford to make the switch.”
Dally also comments on why Fiat is such a crucial component in facilitating a transition in both automotive and among consumers, which is where the reduction in cost will help enable a wider focus on electrification.
“That’s why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to launch the FIAT E-Grant, a £3,000 incentive towards the 500e and 500e Convertible,” says Dally.
“The 500e has won countless industry accolades, it looks great, its compactness suits our busy streets and roads and will certainly put a smile on a driver’s face. We want drivers up and down the country to have a better chance of experiencing that.”
Where can EV makers look to cut costs?
Historically, the prices of cars have increased drastically, which is why consumers are clinging on to their vehicles as long as possible.
Ranging upwards of £19,995, the Fiat 500e is one of the cheaper EVs on the market in Europe, but can also be specified to a significantly higher price. The secondhand market sees the car retain its value with prices of used versions with a minimal number of miles on the clock priced upwards of £14,995 on Autotrader—one of the country's leading car advertising businesses.
The cost of an EV is generally relative to its place in the spectrum of budget to premium, but many of the latest cars have an element of quality and the definition is seemingly blurred as more cars that were once in the premium bracket are leaking into the ‘luxury’ market. But, the main factor for new EV drivers is the range. With many of them still concerned about the predictability of their vehicles—as well as cost—more education is required to ensure that the majority of drivers are able to manage day-to-day life with an all-electric model.
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