HomeNewsGoodbye to Electric Cars: They're Already Being Converted to Combustion Engines

Goodbye to Electric Cars: They’re Already Being Converted to Combustion Engines

Despite the push for electric vehicles, the automotive industry faces a surprising twist: the potential conversion of electric cars back to combustion engines. This move, driven by the challenges of meeting sales targets and regulatory demands, raises questions about the future direction of vehicle innovation and sustainability.

Despite multiple incentives, the progression of electric car sales has not kept pace as it should. Firstly, to meet the ambitious targets set by the European Union, which are directly linked to the reduction of CO2 emissions. On the other hand, to achieve the goals that manufacturers have set for themselves to ensure the profitability of their products.

Moreover, according to some expert sources in the field, actions as unusual as converting a vehicle initially designed as electric into a gasoline vehicle are being considered. However, at this stage, it is appropriate to ask some important questions: Is this a logical solution or just a temporary fix? Is it really possible to convert an electric car into an internal combustion engine vehicle?

Electric or Gasoline

As we learn from Diario Motor, the new FIAT 500 was launched in 2007, an urban utility vehicle that has remained present in dealerships until today, being manufactured at the Tychy plant in Poland. Over the years, FIAT has made the necessary updates to one of its most iconic models, including the introduction of the mechanics available today: a mild hybrid that qualifies for the ECO label.

In 2020, the new FIAT 500e was introduced, a brand new vehicle developed to be exclusively electric and manufactured in Mirafiori, Turin. Due to regulations, the production of the 2007 FIAT 500 will soon cease in Tychy, meaning that the only option offered by FIAT will be the electric 500e model.

However, in 2023, FIAT produced a total of 77,260 units of the 500e, which is significantly lower than the targets set. Additionally, annual production is expected to increase to 175,000 units, reports Automotive News, with FIAT requesting this increase from its suppliers. According to Dataforce, in 2023, FIAT sold a total of 62,000 units of the electric FIAT 500e and 104,000 units of the internal combustion FIAT 500.

Mild Hybrid

Recent reports, not confirmed by FIAT, suggest an even more surprising move. According to Il Corriere della Sera, the new FIAT 500e, originally designed as a fully electric vehicle, could be transformed to incorporate a gasoline option, possibly in the form of a mild hybrid.

However, it is important to note that this claim raises doubts, as it is a very complex task and, to some extent, unlikely. The feasibility of such a conversion is questionable, and we should treat this information with skepticism until it is officially confirmed by the company.

Nevertheless, Automotive News reportedly obtained information about certain requirements that the Italian manufacturer has asked of its suppliers regarding the change. A representative of Stellantis reportedly did not deny the existence of a letter on this matter but refrained from further comment.

Strong Competition

One of the main challenges for the FIAT 500e is the growing competition in the electric vehicle market. This year saw the arrival of other electric models, like the Renault 5, and even within the Stellantis group, the Citroën ë-C3, which promise to be more affordable and performant, with prices below 25,000 euros before subsidies.

The Citroën ë-C3, in particular, has the additional advantage of being available with internal combustion engines, which may appeal to some consumers. Competition is also intensifying with the arrival of electric vehicles manufactured in China, offering more competitive prices. All this represents an additional challenge for the FIAT 500e and underscores the need to find effective solutions to maintain its relevance in the market.

For now, the most sensible approach for the FIAT 500e, in the longer term, might be to follow in the footsteps of its little sister, the FIAT Panda. Stellantis already has a platform that will be used for the production of the Panda starting in 2025, and which is also used by the Citroën ë-C3. This would not only allow for the creation of a more reasonably priced FIAT 500e but also continue to market the model with internal combustion engines.

Alan, editor-in-chief, born in 1964 in a picturesque small town in the south, has always been fascinated by the roar of engines and the shine of car bodies. From a young age, he spent hours flipping through his father's car magazines, dreaming of the cars he would one day drive. After obtaining his high school diploma, Alan decided to pursue his passion for automobiles by studying journalism, with the hope of combining his two loves: writing and cars.


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