We drive the Fiat 500e

122mpge city | 108mpge hwy | 111hp

Leave it to the Italians to add style and performance to an electric car. The Fiat 500e was a pleasant surprise for us and we hated to see it go away. Most electric cars have the personality of a banana and can even be less fun to drive. The Fiat 500e delivered a terrific driving experience with 87 mile range in a good looking package during its stay with us.

The Fiat 500 has always been a cute and fun car. In its sporty Abarth version, it can be a pretty potent machine. When the all-electric 500e showed up the thoughts of a glorified golf cart ran through our heads. But after driving it for a few minutes a strange feeling began to come upon us. The 500e has not lost any of its Italian heritage and charm.

It is actually a lot of fun to drive on the street and in traffic because of his nimble size, terrific handling, and fantastic throttle response. Most electric cars promise you an instantaneous throttle response but few actually deliver.

The 500e is remarkable at scooting around corners and taking gaps in tight city traffic. It is a fantastic city vehicle that will keep you smiling as you are commuting to work.

The 500e builds on the Fiat's successful small-car formula, while adding a liquid heated/cooled battery-electric powertrain that produces 111 horsepower (83 kW) and recharges in less than 4 hours with its 6.6 kW on-board charging module connected to a Level 2 energy source (220 volts).

Unique in the EV segment is the Fiat 500e's innovative "blended braking" system. Unlike other EVs in the market that have an aggressive and unwanted "drag" feeling when lifting off the accelerator pedal, the Fiat 500e is designed to feel like a regular gasoline-powered Cinquecento, while still immediately regenerating.

In most cases, the Fiat 500e uses 100 percent of its regenerative braking capability all the way down to 8 mph to maximize the vehicle's efficiency, while enabling longer life of the brakes. The system also provides a more consistent and confident brake-pedal feel.

A unique lower-body structure design provides packaging and protection for the 500e's battery, while delivering a 10 percent improvement in bending stiffness. In addition, the design change from internal combustion to battery-electric enabled the Fiat 500e a front-to-rear weight distribution of 57/43 for improved handling performance. The result is a Cinquecento with a tighter and stiffer feel, and an added sense of confidence and control during higher speed maneuvers.

The Fiat 500e pushes its iconic Italian design forward with its wind-tunnel-sculpted shape and retro-futuristic dot-matrix styled cues for a cutting-edge look.

The 500e achieved a 13% improvement in aerodynamics compared with the regular Fiat 500 by going through more than 140 hours of wind tunnel testing and refinement. The result was an additional 5 miles of range on the highway.

It's a bit funky, but neat

The inside is classic Fiat 500 style with very cute and stylish touches. About the only thing that was not useful was there Tom Tom navigation system that felt added on and spent most of its life sitting in the glove box.

Another feature of the 500e worth noting is Fiat's ePass which gives you 12 rental car days each year when you need a car for those longer trips. This way you never have to feel like you shouldn't have bought an electric car when you need to take a longer trip.

The 500e starts out at $31,800 which is a great deal especially when you consider all of the federal tax incentives and that you can drive this car in carpool lanes by yourself. If you still don't believe us, you need a test drive. Take the 500e and drive it on your commute and you'll be amazed at how much fun an electric car can be.

Specifications

Vehicle Details
$32,650 500e 2dr HB BATTERY ELECTRIC
2-Door Front Wheel Drive Car, 111 bhp, 147 lb-ft, Automatic, N/A/N/A mpg
4 passengers, 2975 lb, 26.8 lb/bhp

Brake Type N/A
Brake ABS System 4-Wheel
Brake ABS System (Second Line) N/A
Disc – Front (Yes or ) Yes
Disc – Rear (Yes or ) Yes
Front Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness 11 in
Rear Brake Rotor Diam x Thickness 9.4 in
Cargo Volume with Rear Seat Up 7 ft³
Cargo Volume with Rear Seat Down N/A ft³
Trunk Volume N/A ft³
Total Cooling System Capacity N/A qts
Cold Cranking Amps @ 0° F (Primary) 500
Maximum Alternator Capacity (amps) N/A
Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year N/A
EPA Greenhouse Gas Score N/A
Engine Order Code E99
Engine Type Electric
Displacement N/A
Fuel System N/A
SAE Net Horsepower @ RPM 111
SAE Net Torque @ RPM 147
Wheelbase 90.6 in
Length, Overall 142.4 in
Width, Max w/o mirrors 64.1 in
Height, Overall 60.1 in
Track Width, Front 55.4 in
Track Width, Rear 55 in
Min Ground Clearance 4.5 in
Liftover Height N/A in
Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx N/A gal
Aux Fuel Tank Capacity, Approx N/A gal
Passenger Capacity 4
Passenger Volume 78.6 ft³
Front Head Room 38.9 in
Front Leg Room 40.7 in
Front Shoulder Room 49.4 in
Front Hip Room 47.8 in
Second Head Room 35.5 in
Second Leg Room 27.6 in
Second Shoulder Room 46.4 in
Second Hip Room 42.6 in
EPA Fuel Economy Est – Hwy N/A MPG
Cruising Range – City N/A mi
EPA Fuel Economy Est – City N/A MPG
Fuel Economy Est-Combined N/A MPG
Cruising Range – Hwy N/A mi
EPA MPG Equivalent – City N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent – Hwy N/A
EPA MPG Equivalent – Combined N/A
Battery Range N/A mi
Steering Type Rack-Pinion
Steering Ratio (:1), Overall N/A
Lock to Lock Turns (Steering) N/A
Turning Diameter – Curb to Curb 31.3 ft
Turning Diameter – Wall to Wall N/A ft
Suspension Type – Front Strut
Suspension Type – Rear Torsion Beam
Suspension Type – Front (Cont.) Strut
Suspension Type – Rear (Cont.) Torsion Beam
Shock Absorber Diameter – Front N/A mm
Shock Absorber Diameter – Rear N/A mm
Stabilizer Bar Diameter – Front N/A in
Stabilizer Bar Diameter – Rear N/A in
Front Tire Order Code T1A
Rear Tire Order Code T1A
Front Tire Size P185/55HR15
Rear Tire Size P185/55HR15
Dead Weight Hitch – Max Trailer Wt. N/A lbs
Dead Weight Hitch – Max Tongue Wt. N/A lbs
Wt Distributing Hitch – Max Trailer Wt. N/A lbs
Wt Distributing Hitch – Max Tongue Wt. N/A lbs
Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
Trans Order Code DAC
Trans Type 1
Trans Description Cont. Automatic
First Gear Ratio (:1) N/A
Reverse Ratio (:1) 9.59
Clutch Size N/A in
Final Drive Axle Ratio (:1) 9.59
EPA Classification Minicompact Cars
Base Curb Weight 2980 lbs
Front Wheel Size 15 X 5.5 in
Rear Wheel Size 15 X 6.5 in
Front Wheel Material Aluminum
Rear Wheel Material Aluminum

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