Fiat has created a zero-emissions ice cream van on a compact scale using its 500e Convertible.
Billed as the ‘world’s smallest, zero-emission gelateria’, the one-off concept is based on Fiat’s electric 500e Convertible and aims to provide a ‘greener’ alternative to the traditional ice cream van.
As well as its eye-catching two-tone exterior finish with frozen gelato display the gelataria can even play an ‘Italian orchestral alert’ to let passers-by know that it’s ready to serve.
With two 15-litre freezers Fiat says that despite its compact size, the 500e Gelateria Edition can serve ice cream to approximately 300 people per day with ice cream. The passenger and rear seats have been removed entirely, freeing up space for the attendant to move around. Gelato is then handed over to customers via the rear of the vehicle.
Fiat’s one-off reworking of the 500 is said to be inspired by a "local Italian gelateria of the 1950s". It swaps its rear seats for a pair of battery-powered freezers and is decorated with suitably jovial blue-and-white paintwork, plus the all-important folding roof and canopy.
Frozen gelato trays are mounted above a bespoke cabinet where the battery-powered freezers are placed, while accessories such as cones, tubs and spoons are all kept here too. When the convertible fabric roof is down, a canopy can be raised above the vehicle to provide a bit of extra shade from the sun. The Gelateria Edition also features a cream dashboard finish and bronze badging.
To celebrate the concept of its first gelateria, Fiat has also created a new gelato flavour – Bicerin – The new flavour takes its inspiration from a hot drink native to Fiat’s home in Turin. It consists of coffee, chocolate and oat milk ingredients. Just how cool is this?
Many existing ice cream vans are ageing commercial vehicles with non-compliant diesel engines, prompting demand for cleaner alternatives.
The London boroughs of Camden, Greenwich, and Westminster have already banned or restricted the use of combustion-engined ice cream vans due to ‘air and noise pollution concerns’, so electric alternatives could become a popular way to navigate around these cutbacks. With the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to encompass all 32 boroughs will come into effect on 29 August 2023, meaning non-compliant ice-cream vans will incur a charge of £12.50 per day anywhere within the M25.
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