Fiat is celebrating Disney's centenary with Mickey Mouse-themed Topolino EVs, and GAC Motor wants to launch an EV with solid-state batteries in 2026.

This is AM Drive, Motor1's daily look at the news you need before you get in your car.

When Topolino Meets Topolino

In case you're unfamiliar with the Topolino, it's the nickname given to the original Fiat 500 launched back in 1936. The moniker was brought back earlier this year when Stellantis unveiled the Fiat Topolino as a sister model of the Opel Rocks Electric and Citroën Ami. It's technically not a car, but rather a quadricycle with a 28-mph top speed and a 46-mile range. Ok, but what does have to do with Mickey Mouse?

Topolino is also the Italian name for Mickey Mouse, and with Disney celebrating its centenary in 2023, Fiat decided to work on five one-offs featuring the adorable cartoon character co-created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. 2023 is also an important year for Mickey Mouse since it made its first appearance 95 years ago in the Steamboat Willie animated short film. One of the liveries has a historical theme as a nod to Mickey Mouse's debut in 1928.

Fiat Topolino with Mickey Mouse livery

Fiat designed four of the so-called skins with historical, modern, street, and abstract themes. The fifth Topolino livery was developed in collaboration with Disney artist Cavazzano. A special exhibit featuring all five cars will be set up on the north ramp of the Lingotto building in Italy, which is also celebrating its centenary in 2023. If the name doesn't ring a bell, it's a historical building with a test track on its roof, featured in the 1969 The Italian Job movie.

GAC Motor Wants To Launch An EV With Solid-State Batteries In 2026

Solid-state batteries have long been touted as the next revolution in the EV segment, but they always seem to be several years away. A few major automakers including BMW and Toyota are investing in this technology, which is slated to bring major benefits on just about all fronts. These batteries are lighter, smaller, faster to charge, and able to deliver greater range. Compared to lithium-ion batteries with their flammable liquid electrolyte, a solid-state battery's solid structure makes it less prone to fire and explosions.

GAC Motor has now announced plans to launch an EV with a solid-state battery in 2026. Speaking at the 2023 Guangzhou Auto Show, GAC President Feng Xingya said the company has achieved a breakthrough in the development of solid-state batteries by reaching an energy density of 400 watt-hours per kilogram.

Even if it sticks to the schedule, GAC Motor won't be the first Chinese automaker to use this tech since SAIC Motor plans to do it as early as next year.

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