Fiat Hints at Future Eco Smart City Focus for Products

Automakers could be heading towards a deeper relationship with smart, clean cities of the future as a way of tailoring their products for the new realities.

This was the main takeaway of a meeting on World Environment Day 2021 between Olivier François, CEO of the Fiat brand and CMO at Stellantis, and architect Stefano Boeri, whose company specializes in urban forestation projects. Naturally, François used the opportunity to promote his brand’s new Fiat 500 which will be available only as a BEV to help with meet upcoming air regulations in European cities. The pair addressed the themes of urban mobility and sustainable architecture to make cities healthier and easier to live in.

At their meeting, both looked at the opportunities for a ‘New Renaissance’, by discussing imagery of the current situation in cities and ongoing changes to societal trends and the increasing interest in environmental issues. With this, they considered the urgency of taking action, and the major opportunity of inspiring change. For the architect, it was a chance to focus on his Bosco Verticale project with its 27,000 plants and millions of leaves contributing to clean the air by absorbing CO2.

François, said: “The decision to launch the New 500 – electric and electric alone – was actually taken before Covid-19. Even then, we were already aware that the world could not take any more ‘compromises’. In fact, lockdown was only the latest of the warnings we have received. At that time, we witnessed situations that would have been unimaginable until then, for example wild animals roaming the cities, proving nature was taking back what was rightfully hers. Plus, as if it had still been necessary, we were reminded of the urgency of taking action, of doing something for the planet Earth.”

Boeri, added: “When we consider that cities are responsible for more than 70% of CO2 emissions, which are at the root of global warming and the emissions of pollutants that endanger our health, it is clear that cities are where we most need to change and the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us how fragile our lives and bodies can be. So, it showed us the importance of improving the environment in which we live. Trees absorb CO2, drastically reduce pollution, reduce energy consumption and the ‘urban heat island’ effect. Trees are increasing the biodiversity of living species and making cities safer, more pleasant, healthier and attractive.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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