Turin - Fiat Chrysler plans to spend 700 million euros (R11bn) to take the next-generation Fiat 500 electric as the carmaker moves on from its failed bid to merge with Renault, which is a pioneer in electric vehicles.
This will be the Italian-American company's biggest single bet on an electric vehicle to date.
Regional Chief Operating Officer Pietro Gorlier told reporters that FCA had started building the new production line at Mirafiori to turn out 80 000 of the new 500 BEVs, its first battery electric vehicle to be marketed in Europe.
The original 500, launched by Fiat in the late 1950s and known affectionately as the "Cinquecento", quickly become a symbol of Italian urban design.
The modern remake, which is still in production today, is expected to continue in its current form as a budget model even after release of the new-generation electric car.