If you happen to be looking for a fuel efficient vehicle, the Fiat 500e is an excellent choice. With its low price and its all-electric drive, you cannot go wrong. It is a stylish car with much better weight balance than the gas version; it has great initial acceleration, is incredibly quiet, and is mostly maintenance-free. In addition, for an electric car, it has a very respectable range of about 87 miles.
In an attempt to move the U.S. to a larger proportion of electric vehicles, California mandates that automakers sell a certain number of EVs. These are “compliance cars” like the RAV4 EV and Smart EV, which tend to be dumped into fleet programs. The Fiat 500e is the stylish all-electric vehicle that is fuel efficient and mostly maintenance-free. They are only available in California and Oregon at select Fiat Studios.
The regular Fiat 500’s top-level Lounge trim provides a guide to the 500E’s equipment, which includes remote keyless entry, automatic climate control, a stand-alone TomTom navigation unit, USB and iPod connectivity, and heated front seats. Aside from selecting your exterior color from among white, black, silver, gray, and the bright orange Arancio Electrico, the only notable option is an e-Sport package that adds black trim for the headlamps, tail lamps, and turn signals; orange side graphics; orange side-mirror caps; and staggered-width 15-inch black-and-orange wheels.
This vehicle uses a 24 kilowatt-hour liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack and it provides an estimated 80 miles of range under typical driving conditions. It is almost entirely under the car, but it does cause the floor of the cargo area and rear foot-wells to creep up an inch or so, which makes the already non-vast rear seat area a bit more cramped.
The small lightweight format does bounce a bit over the road. When driving, the road noise is very quiet. Highway driving is solid, but it is clearly a commuter car with only reasonably comfortable seats, rather than a comfortable long-distance cruiser. Visibility is generally good, although rear and side mirrors are small.
As far as charging goes, why the Spark EV does not feature 6.6 kW Level 2charging this late in the game is a real mystery. A full charge in a Spark EV takes over 7 hours, while the Fiat is less than 4, and that is a big negative against the Chevy. On the DC fast charging side of things, the battle is just as lop-sided in favor of the electric Spark…because the Fiat 500e doesn’t have any, while the Spark features the world’s first SAE combo charger.
Although the steering can feel overly heavy when you have the car pointed straight, as soon as you start to turn, it lightens up and offers good feedback. Compared with other electric cars in this price range, the Fiat 500e stands apart for its sporty handling and fun-to-drive character.
Source: Reedman Toll