Fiat is to remove all pure diesel and petrol vehicles from sale in the UK from as soon as July, as part of a commitment announced yesterday to become a fully-electrified vehicle brand in Britain this summer.
The Italian carmaker now plans to sell only hybrid and battery electric vehicles in the UK, and although it already had a long-term commitment to electrification, today’s announcement marks a significant shift from last year when just over 60 per cent of the firm’s line up was electrified.
“This step in Fiat’s history marks a pivotal point in our commitment to providing affordable and sustainable mobility solutions for all of our customers,” said Greg Taylor, managing director for Fiat and Abarth UK. “The move lends itself to our vehicles which are suited to urban areas, spearheaded by the popularity of the New 500.”
The fully-electric New 500 model is the best-selling electric city car in eleven countries and the second best-selling electric car in any segment in Europe, behind only Tesla, according to Fiat. It offers Level 2 Autonomous Driving technologies, a variety of battery options (24kWh or 42kWH) and a driving range of up to 199 miles on a single charge.
Fiat’s electrified line-up also includes hybrid versions of the second-generation 500 and the Panda. Both have had their basic 1.2-litre engines replaced by an all-new electrified 1.0-litre unit.
In February 2022, meanwhile, Fiat announced the arrival of the new 500X Tipo Hybrid, and the electrification of its model range. The 500X Hybrid has exceeded 750,000 registrations since its launch in 2014, according to Fiat.
It means the carmaker now offers at least one low-emission version for each model it brings to market, which it said takes a fiat “a further step along the path of energy transition and sustainable mobility”.
The last 12 months has seen the biggest annual increase in electric vehicle registrations in the UK with an 88.3 per cent increase in battery electric vehicles (BEV), a 43 per cent increase in hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), and an 18.5 per cent increase in mild hybrid electric vehicle (MHEV), according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). However, the trade body was also forced to downgrade its initial sales expectations for 2022 in the wake of EV component supply issues and the growing cost of living crisis, which is expected to hit consumer pockets hard this year.