Fiat, like other vehicle manufacturers, has started work on electrifying its entire range. The electrification process is part of the company's road map and the firm is fortifying its existing plants to meet the new norms as well as the additional load. FCA's Mirafiori plant in Turin, the largest that the company has right now, is the first one to receive a new electric assembly line. This assembly line will have an annual production capacity of 80,000 units. An investment of 700 million Euros too has been pumped into this plant for the same. Till date, the facility has pumped out more than 2.8 crore units, spread over 35 models.
The first car that rolled out from this facility, the Fiat 500, will be harbinger of the electrification program. The Fiat 500 BEV will be made by robots and the company is installing more than 200 specimens. More than 1,200 people too have been employed for the same. Over the course of the year, FCA is expected to start employing more people. By the year-end, the first pre-production model of the Fiat 500 BEV will be produced. The actual production will start from second quarter of 2020. In Italy, the FCA 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 their dealerships. These will be fast charging units that can cover 80 per cent of the charge in less than an hour.
In the future, there will be plug-in hybrid versions of the Jeep Compass as well as Renegade. Both the vehicles were showcased at the Geneva show this year. It is likely that Fiat India too will have the plug-in hybrid versions of the Jeep Compass on sale in 2-3 years time from now. As it is, the recently proposed Union Budget is favourable for EVs and especially made-in-India ones. To recap, a subsidy of more than Rs 1 lakh will be given on EV loans, the taxes will be less on certain components of EVs and free registration in some states. All this has boosted the morale of the Indian EV industry.