500e from Fiat Shows When Retro Become Eco

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We live in a world trying to be eco-friendly, at least in terms of car emissions. That’s why many car manufacturers obliged to have so-called ZEV (zero emission vehicle) in its model line-up. It’s pricey to design EV from scratch, so it is easier to trash out good old combustion engine and put some electric motors with batteries. 500e is that case – you can hardly distinguish it from gas-eating brother. Interestingly, this small and stylish EV could be purchased excusively in two states only – Oregon and California.

It has to be said that the little Fiat is a great car to drive; the standard Fiat 500 feels fun, but with the added battery weight low down, you feel could almost turn the 500e on its door handles. Perhaps the biggest problem with the 500e is battery life, or range from each charge; Fiat claim a range of 87 miles but road testers have struggled to get to 80 miles in the real world, other competitors are now breaking the 100-mile mark and that is a big difference.

The new 2017 Fiat 500e should be in your local showrooms now.

2017 Fiat 500e release date: already available

 

Just one trim level of the Fiat 500e is available, although there has been mention of an e-sport but we can find no dealer listing them, This means that there are no hidden extras or added costs, you may be able to find discounts here and there, but the list price is $31,800.

Minor Tweaks

Virtually nothing has changed from the last model; a choice of colors maybe, but that really is about it. The 500e is fitted with an 83kW motor (equivalent to around 111 BHP) and of course has one single direct drive speed – no gearbox or multiple speeds.

The electric motor can push the 500e all the way to an electronically limited top speed of 85 MPH, but if you start driving at those sort of speeds, battery life and range will be significantly reduced, and we really do mean significantly.

Well-packed

As standard, the little 500e comes with a wide range of equipment: 7 airbags, active front head restraints, electronic stability and traction control, tire pressure monitoring, navigation, Bluetooth, USB and a Sirius XM satellite radio.

Electric Range

If you’re in the market for a full electric vehicle and can put up with the 87 (at best) mile range, then you can’t really go wrong with the little Fiat 500e; it looks great, has some good equipment and we think it will never really go out of style. All great news, providing you live in California or Oregon.

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Editor's rating
4.6 overall
  • Safety4.4
  • Performance4.4
  • Design4.8
  • Features4.5
  • Fuel economy5
Summary

The legendary Italian compact car - Fiat 500 has received a full-electric powertrain. Now it not only stylish, but also eco-friendly.

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