2013 Fiat 500e

by Dave Stall
2013 Fiat 500e

As if an electric light switch has been thrown another electric car shows up on the California roads the Fiat 500e.  As you know the 500 has been around awhile and has garnered some impressive numbers when it comes to performance, fuel mileage and all around fun to drive.  But it was inevitable that Fiat would flip the 500 to electric.  Was it a successful transition?  Yes it was, in fact I have my own story on range anxiety but with a very happy ending.

First the story then the car review.  I was in Los Angeles on the 500e press event, I was on the route Fiat had set out for us, we had maps, the Fiat navigation was set, and how could anyone get lost? We did!  My driving partner (Who was the navigator) had me turn right instead of left, now we had a full electric charge and should have been able to cover the route with ease.  To make a long story short we seemed to be lost and heading North! I insisted we stop and check the navigation system to see where we were at and how far were we away from the Hotel (Final destination). OMG, we were 43 miles out with 26 miles of range left!!! How embarrassing would it be to roll back up to a press event on the back of a tow truck! No way! So I babied the 500E through the city streets and freeways trying to regenerate electric power anyway I could, ride the brakes at times, coast as much as possible, pray a lot but thanks to the electric guru's we made it back to the Hotel with 8 mile range left on the dash! What this told me is Fiat has given you a buffer in the event you run low on electric power due to a miscalculation on your part.
Now that is out of my system lets talk about the 500e.  As you know I have been driving electric vehicles since the 90's, I had GM's EV-1 for a month and loved it.  Since then I have driven them all, some better than others but the Fiat 500E has done what most are trying to achieve, the fact you don't know you're driving an electric car.

As you know the 500e is based on the 500 and it has achieved many accomplishments for example: Industry-Best 108 MPGe Highway Rating EPA-Estimated Fuel Consumption Rate of 29 Kilowatt Hours (kWh) Per 100 Miles but of course your range will vary depending on terrain (Hills are a killer to an electric cars range). 111 hp (83-kW) Electric-Drive Motor, 147 lb-ft (200 Nm) of Torque/111-hp (83 kW) Electric-Drive Motor with a 24-kWh Lithium-Ion High-Voltage Battery that produces 147 lb-ft (200 Nm) of Torque/111-hp (83 kW) Electric-Drive Motor. When it comes to transmitting the power to the wheels Fiat has opted for a Single-Speed Gearbox Transmission

Instead of a traditional transmission, the new single-speed gearbox transmission directs the output from the electric-drive motor and provides calibrated gear reduction. Lower electric motor input speeds, decreased battery usage and more efficient use of vehicle energy with increased torque output capacity are but some of the benefits this transmission provides.
Other features you might be interested in, starting with the instrument cluster the 500e instrument cluster features a contemporary design with a 7-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) display for improved lighting and location of features. Benefit from a state of charge indicator (with progressive color indication), driving behavior gauge (with dynamic "real-time" feedback) and configurable (U.S. or metric) digital speed indicators. Simple, direct, easy-to-find and easy-to-use controls and functions.

Not to be boring the instrument panel features a contemporary design and several unique finishes/final touches based on model and color. Seats, door panels and unique mats coordinate Nero (Black) with Arancio Elettrico (Electric Orange) accents and Orange stitching. A Nero and Steam combination is also available.  On the outside Paint the town your favorite color. Arancio Elettrico (Electric Orange), Argento (Silver), Grigio (Gray), Bianco Perla (White) and Nero (Black) come with a White front fascia and mirror cap on the FIATŪ 500e Steam model. Argento, Grigio, Bianco Perla and Nero with a Nero front fascia are available for the FIATŪ 500e Nero model. And Argento, Grigio, Bianco Perla and fascia, Orange mirror cap, side stripe and dark tinted exterior light surrounds are standard for the FIAT e-Sport package.
Safety is important and Fiat did not disappoint, State-of-the-Art Airbags, a Safety Cage Protected by seven airbags, including driver and multistage front-passenger advanced airbags, driver's knee airbag, full-length side-curtain airbags and seat-mounted pelvic-thorax airbags, rest assured you're enveloped in Safety & Security.

Then there is the charging the 24-kWh Lithium-Ion High-Voltage Battery. This lithium-ion battery is full of benefits. It's good at holding its charge. It has no memory effect, which means that you do not have to completely discharge it before recharging, as with some other batteries. And, lithium-ion batteries can handle hundreds of charge/discharge cycles. Just as important, the battery includes a system which proactively heats and cools the battery to maintain optimal operating temperature. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery is covered by an Eight-Year Limited Warranty.  Having the 220W charging system wired into your home is the way to go, 110W will do the job but for a much longer time.

There are plenty of incentives to buying the 500e go to your local Fiat Studio for more information and take one out for a spin.

Pricing on the 500e is $31,800 or you can get a 3 year lease with $999 down and $199 per month!  Tired of buying gas? Maybe the 500e is just what you need! Check it out!

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