FCA gets ready to produce the Fiat 500 BEV
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) finally has its production lines ready for the Fiat 500 BEV. Pre-series production already started at its Mirafiori plant in Turin.
Pre-series production gives the last chance to optimize the Fiat 500 BEV before series production starts in June.
FCA is to install Solar Power Production Units at its Mirafiori complex, consisting of photovoltaic panels covering 150,000 square meters capable of producing 15 MW of electricity. This will contribute to a more than 5 kt reduction in CO2 emissions and supply sustainable energy to charge the electric models manufactured on site.
A total of 850 charging points will be installed across the Turin manufacturing hub, including 750 in employee parking areas.
Production has begun on the hybrid version of the Maserati Ghibli.
The pre-series versions of the Fiat 500 BEV are already undergoing product and process testing in preparation for the production launch in June.
Hiring of approximately 100 specialists to cover multiple roles associated with the new product launches has already begun.
FCA continues to launch sustainability-focused initiatives related to electrification and further strengthens the investment plan for its Turin manufacturing hub, which forms part of the overall €5 billion industrial plan for Italy over the 2019-2021 period.
In collaboration with Terna, it has already presented a project for development of the world’s largest V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) hub, which will connect a fleet of 700 electric vehicles (Fiat 500 BEV) via a two-way recharging infrastructure capable of supplying 25 MW to the energy grid to balance demand during peak periods. And today FCA is announcing two additional strategic projects:
- The installation of Solar Power Production Units at Mirafiori, consisting of a total of 120,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels mounted on building roofs and a further 30,000 covering 1,750 parking places and capable of generating up to 15 MW of electricity. This will contribute to a more than 5 kt reduction in CO2 emissions and supply sustainable energy to charge the electric models manufactured on site.The roof top project will be implemented in partnership with Edison, while the car park project will be implemented in partnership with ENGIE. The photovoltaic panels installed by Edison will cover the historic Officine 64, 71 and 72 buildings, the Body Shop Assembly Center and the RG Center located near the Mirafiori test track. For the ENGIE project, photovoltaic panels will cover the V2G car park currently under construction at Mirafiori. The energy generated by these installations will provide FCA major benefits on the sustainability front.
- The installation of 850 charging points across the Turin manufacturing hub, including 750 in employee parking areas.
These projects are being implemented alongside enhancement of other centers of excellence present at the Turin hub focused on technology and continuous improvement of production processes. One of these is the Additive Manufacturing Center which, in support of design and engineering activities, develops the know-how and methodologies to create products through the deposition or fusion of materials layer-by-layer, without the need for stamping or tooling. Another is the World Class Manufacturing Development Center’s Academy, a training facility focused on skills development for technologies and new processes, which provides 80,000 hours of training to some 5,000 people a year.
The new sustainability projects will be rapidly integrated with the product investment plan, which is moving ahead at full speed and is set to completely transform the Turin manufacturing hub into a center of excellence in electrification at both the national and international level.
The product investments for the Turin manufacturing hub launched so far include:
- Fiat 500 BEV: production lines have been completed and manufacturing of the pre-series is already underway. The production launch is planned for June.
- Maserati Ghibli: Production has begun on the hybrid version.
- Maserati Quattroporte and Levante: restyling of both models has already begun and production launch is planned for July.
- Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio: investment has already begun for production of the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio, including full-electric versions, at the Mirafiori complex.
- Mirafiori Transmission Plant: investment has begun to increase production capacity up to 350,000 6-speed transmissions per year.
- Mirafiori Battery Hub: investment has already begun for construction of the first assembly plant which will produce the battery modules for all Maserati electric vehicles.
Combined, the investments already launched at the Turin manufacturing hub total approximately €2 billion and are expected to be enable a return to full employment by 2022. In the meantime, to manage the additional requirements associated with the new product launches, FCA has begun the hiring process for approximately 100 trained specialists.
Pietro Gorlier, COO for FCA’s EMEA Region said: “The new sustainability-focused projects announced today, together with the operational milestones already achieved, demonstrate how FCA is continuing to strengthen its activities, with the contribution of its people and its centers of excellence. With a series of new product launches and these innovative electrification-related projects, 2020 will be an incredibly important year for the Group’s future.”
Early rumors speculated that the new generation Fiat 500e would finally become a 5-door car just like the Renault Twingo. Unfortunately recent spy shots of the Fiat 500 BEV suggest otherwise.
As you can imagine from the photos below, the Renault Twingo ZE will probably look like a Fiat 500e with 2 extra doors for more practicality.
Fiat 500e (old generation)
My guess is that the Fiat 500 BEV will have around 100 km more range than the Renault Twingo ZE, but cost around 10.000 euros more.
Anyway, the unveil to the public is expected to occur next month at Geneva International Motor Show – which takes place from 5 to 15 March 2020.