Stellantis’ Fiat division used the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show to promote the North American debuts of its 2024 500e electric car and the new “Metaverse Store” that will be used to help sell it. The vehicle and its virtual showroom are already available in Europe, and the company hopes these pieces can help revive the struggling Italian brand find more success across the pond.
2024 Fiat 500e
Little is known about the North American-spec 500e, but we imagine it will closely follow its European counterpart. The subcompact two-door hatchback doesn’t look much different than the 500e that was sold exclusively in California and Oregon from 2013-2019. Expect the 2024 edition to use a 117-horsepower electric motor powered by a 32.3-kWh battery. Under US regulations, the estimated driving range will likely be less than the 199 miles of the European model.
The Metaverse Store uses virtual reality technology to transport buyers to a digital showroom where they can get an in-depth tour of the vehicle without leaving their homes. A “Product Genius” avatar will help facilitate the shopping and purchase process. The Metaverse Store is accessible via a compatible tablet, smartphone, or PC and does not require any specialized VR hardware.
Fiat also plans to partner with Free2move as part of an initiative to further boost EV awareness with the driving public. Free2move is a company that works like a combination of Zipcar, Turo, and a new-car lease/subscription service. People will be able to rent or lease a 500e in locations across the country for as little as a few minutes or as long as several months.
Full features and pricing for the US-spec 2024 Fiat 500e will be available closer to when it and the Metaverse Store come online early next year. We estimate a base price of around $32,000 before tax incentives.
The Fiat 500e seems like a decent enough EV that could see some success with its Free2move partnership. The Metaverse Store concept is what has us scratching our heads. We understand the company wanting to do something different, but considering most metaverse concepts have largely been failures, we can’t envision a scenario where this one would be different.
2024 Fiat 500e Gallery
(Click below for enlarged images)