Currently reading: Electric Fiat 500 demand spikes after firm introduces £3000 grant
There were more enquiries for the electric supermini in June than in the rest of 2023 combined

Enquiries about the electric Fiat 500 in the past month have exceeded those for the previous five months combined following the firm’s launch of a £3000 E-Grant to encourage buyers to consider the switch to an electric vehicle, Fiat UK MD Damien Dally has revealed.

Fiat's E-Grant - effectively a discount for anyone buying an electric 500 hatch or convertible - was introduced to stimulate demand for the firm’s EV in a market that is stalling, particularly among private buyers. So far in 2023, EVs have accounted for 15.7% of new vehicle registrations. At this point last year, they made up 14.7% of the market, although because of the chip crisis, it was a substantially smaller volume of registrations.

"I’ve been delighted by the response," said Dally. "We obviously have to see that interest through to sale, but the uplift has been astounding. In a difficult cost-of-living crisis for private buyers, it is clear that an incentive to make the switch can be very powerful.”

The E-Grant was launched to mark the one-year anniversary of the government removing any form of incentive for electric car buyers. At its peak, government support amounted to £5000 per vehicle, plus a further discount on installing a home charger, but it had fallen £1500 on lower-priced EVs when it was withdrawn.

When Fiat’s E-Grant was launched, Dally called on the government to match it in order to stimulate the market, although to date the government has shown no sign of moving its position, despite the stark contrast with many European nations. Germany, for instance, has been offering a €9000 (£7715) grant to stimulate sales.

Fiat 500 Electric side tracking

Highlighting the stalling market when he introduced the E-Grant, Dally pointed to the stagnating market share of EV registrations after years of exponential growth. The market share of EVs had risen from 0.9% in 2019 to 4.4% in 2020, 7.2% in 2021 and 14.4% in 2022. The Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate that is set to be introduced next year is rumoured to be beginning with a 22% market share goal, albeit with potential derogations as a result of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on demand.


Read our review

Car review

Rather than take its pension, Fiat’s 65-year-old star car heads into the electric age

Back to top

Dally also highlighted Auto Trader research, published under the title 'The road to 2030', which suggests that the number of enquiries sent to retailers about electric cars has fallen 65% year on year, with EV enquiries currently accounting for only 9% of the total, compared with 27% this time last year.

Fiat hasn’t set a deadline for when the scheme will end, but Dally pledged that he "would like to keep it at least until the end of the year".

He also confirmed that the E-Grant won’t be applied to the Abarth 500e, which is priced from £34,195, a relatively modest price increase over the electric Fiat 500 despite its increased power output and performance credentials. “The Abarth is already a great offer, and it’s important that we keep the two brands separated,” he said.

Paul Bailey

Join the debate

Add a comment…
xxxx 11 July 2023

Be under no illusion this is not a grant, it's a discount on an overpriced car. 

catnip 11 July 2023

Agreed. And why should the tax payer stump up any extra to help Fiat's bottom line?

dipole 2 June 2023

Renault 5 is just a few months away from entering market.  The Stellantis cars including the FIAT 500 are going to look very expensive in comparisson to it and the MG4.

si73 2 June 2023
Enables it to undercut the £28215 honda e? That's car is more like £38k.
Agree LP it does come across more of a discount, brings the car back closer to it's launch prices which were around £25k for the lower powered smaller battery and £29k for the higher powered larger version.
Re other buyers, chances are they've been offering discounts for ages but are now changing tack with them to make it seem like they're picking up where the government left off?
Either way it's an EV that I really like and would happily own, high range isn't a massive issue for me, and whilst I also like the Honda, it's price, now they only seem to offer the top model, is far too much.