With the all-electric Concept Centoventi in Geneva, Fiat previews the next generation of their Panda model. With a unique modular battery set-up, the range can be extended from 100 km to up to 500 km, and FCA also promised a new take on electrifying the Fiat 500.
It is still unclear whether the Fiat Centoventi concept will lead to a production model. However, the Italian carmaker has definitely promised a Fiat 500 with an all-electric drive that will be presented at next year’s Geneva Motor Show 2020.
Back to the presents and the approach of the modular battery concept for the upcoming Panda is quite interesting since it allows flexibility in pricing. The electric vehicle’s standard attribute is a factory-mounted battery with a range of 100 km. If a more extended range is desired, up to three additional power packs can be purchased or rented, allowing an increase of 100 km each. The extra batteries are installed underneath the floor of the car by a Fiat garage. A sliding rail which supports and connects the batteries makes their installation or removal “quick and easy,” claims Fiat. To achieve the max range of 500 km, the carmakers offers an additional battery, for mounting under the seat; it can be disconnected and put on charge directly in the user’s home or garage, a system that Fiat likens to the that of an e-bike.
The charging concept, on the other hand, is perhaps somewhat out of touch: “In concrete terms, it is a cable drum that is located underneath the trim.” Fiat sells this set-up as flexible as it can plug into charge points on either side “or can act as a hub for several vehicles in case of energy sharing,” says Fiat.
While the Concept Centoventi is still a pure study, the plans for the Fiat 500 are already more concrete: The EV version will be completely overhauled and equipped with an estate car called the 500 Giardiniera. This will initially be presented as a mild hybrid from 2019 before the fully electric version follows in 2020. The Panda will also benefit from the new platform architecture of the 500.
According to the investment plan, Fiat Chrysler will spend more than five billion euros on the electrification of its Italian plants by 2021. The FCA plant Mirafiori in Turin is being prepared, among other things, for the production of a small electric car platform.