Electric vehicles

Mirafiori makes history – again!

Soon preparations for an electric-only Fiat 500 will be complete and production will start

One of the world’s most historic automotive plants is being transformed to reflect a new generation of electrified vehicles (EVs) that are set to change the automotive landscape as we know it.

Fiat’s Mirafiori plant is at the heart of FCA’s electrification strategy. It has been producing cars for 80 years and, thanks to a €700 million (£645m) investment, is gearing up for the next chapter in Fiat’s history – production of the all-new all-electric 500.

This new generation of vehicles continues the long tradition of innovative models that have rolled off the assembly lines at Mirafiori. Among these is the first Fiat 500 which began production in 1957.

Pietro Gorlier, FCA chief operating officer for the EMEA region, said: “Mirafiori has been transformed in step with the city of Turin. It shared the successes and the difficult times, but it has always found a way to get back up on its feet. And it is one of the oldest European automotive factories still in operation today.”

Mirafiori has produced more than 28,700,000 vehicles to date and remains a key part of FCA’s Turin production complex, which is the group’s largest production hub in the world – employing more than 20,000 people with a further 40,000 working for the plant’s suppliers.

The new platform being installed at Mirafiori is specific to electric cars. Its first application will be the next generation Fiat 500, which will be exclusively an electric vehicle.

The first robots have already been installed and the rest of the plant will be retooled over the coming months.

In the body shop alone, there will be a total of 200 robots enabling a fully-automated welding process.

Around 1,200 people will be dedicated to production of the new Fiat 500 and the new assembly line will have an annual capacity of 80,000 units, with the potential for further expansion.

Series production of the new electric Fiat 500 at the refurbished plant is set to begin during the second quarter of 2020.

“This car was entirely conceived, designed and engineered here. It is another excellent example of the ability to create and innovate which abounds in our company and in this city,” said Gorlier.

“In Turin, we are developing a new electric mobility centre of excellence which currently employs 260 people. The new Fiat 500 electric represents just the first phase of our investment plan for Mirafiori.”

“It (the new electric Fiat 500) is another example of the ability to create and innovate which abounds in our company and in this city”

Pietro Gorlier, FCA chief operating officer, EMEA

FCA has set up an e-Mobility unit in EMEA which will be responsible for coordinating all activities related to electrification. FCA has also recently signed agreements with Enel X and Engie which will enable it to offer solutions to simplify the lives of customers buying and using an electrified vehicle of any of the Group’s brands.

In Italy, the Group has plans to install more than 900 charging stations at production sites and employee parking areas, around 1,200 at Leasys Mobility Stores and more than 1,100 at dealerships. Total investment for this project is around €33m (£30.5m).

In addition, FCA is evaluating projects based on the innovative Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, which enables vehicles to return electricity to the grid when needed during peak demand and switch back to charging when demand returns to normal. This would benefit customers while at the same time reducing energy production.

The 500 BEV project is part of FCA’s much broader investment plan for Italy over the 2019-2021 period. The Group has committed to invest a total of €5 billion (£4.6bn) to support a substantial renewal of its product range with the introduction of 13 all-new or significantly refreshed models and a comprehensive offering of electric vehicles, including 12 electrified versions of new or existing models.

New plug-in hybrid versions of the Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass will be among the first of the new line-up, bringing lower CO2 emissions and better efficiency to drivers.

There will also be an electric version of the Fiat Professional Ducato launching shortly, which will be the first electric vehicle produced by FCA in Europe.

The first Alfa Romeo to feature electrification will be the Tonale SUV, a plug-in hybrid due to arrive in showrooms next year.

All of the cars that have rolled off the assembly line at Mirafiori were ground-breaking for their time, because they always had something innovative and unique. Whether it was their style, dimensions, engine, the materials used or the concept around which they were developed,” said Gorlier.

Today, our idea of innovation has not changed. The new Fiat 500 BEV will adopt cutting-edge solutions in a very different industrial and marketing context from just a few years ago. Once again, it is set to become a milestone in the history of FCA and mobility.

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