It has been a long time since there was any real news from Fiat. We have not done a driving test for a long time, but it is now time to take the electric Fiat 500 in hand.
The new Fiat 500 can no longer be ignored in the European road scene. After all, this model has been around since 2007, the minor facelift in 2016 cannot hide the fact that little has actually been changed.
Fiat 500e or electric Fiat 500
Somewhat confusing is the naming of the last member of the Fiat 500 family. The badges on the car read 500e, with the “E” in the last zero. But yes, there was already an electric Fiat 500 with the name 500E. It came out in 2013 and was purely intended to avoid environmental fines in California. As the late Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said, that was a downright bleeder. Fiat had to invest money on every copy sold. Not a car with good memories.
You sometimes see that original Fiat 500E from the US driving around the Netherlands. After the (tax) benefits expired, you could purchase them for an apple and an egg in the United States. A little boat trip later, they started their second life with those cute little yellow license plates on them.
So it was not a 500E, but the New 500. Which in itself is a fairly interesting name, because the small Fiat launched in 1957 was also called Nuova 500. From 1936 to 1955 the original Fiat 500 Topolino was produced.
A “completely” new design
Very recognizable and yet really new. It is great if your designer can do that well and we think that the New 500 has worked out well. According to Fiat, it is a completely new car, but many of the dimensions are still the same. The length and width have increased by 6 centimeters, but the wheelbase is almost unchanged. The entire greenhouse also has the same dimensions, so at least a lot was borrowed from the 2007 Fiat 500.
The brand name Fiat can only be found on the back of the car. In fact, the Fiat-500 brand is stronger than the Fiat brand alone. Or can you immediately name two other models that the Italian brand carries?
Battery pack and range electric Fiat 500
Two powertrains are immediately available. The entry-level model is the electric Fiat 500 Action, which costs 24,900 euros. This has a relatively small battery with 23.8 kWh capacity, which means the WLTP range is 180 km. The practical range of the entry-level electric Fiat 500 is of course more limited, count on 100-120 km.
In the front, a 95 hp electric motor that drives the front wheels whips. The sprint to 100 takes 9.5 seconds, while the top speed is 135 km / h. Although: if you maintain that speed, the battery will be empty after a maximum of 45 minutes.
More interesting is the second battery pack size, which with a capacity of 42 kWh is really a bit bigger. The (theoretical) WLTP electric range for the electric Fiat 500 equipped with the larger battery pack is 320 km. We could not try it during the driving test, but the electric Fiat 500 should be able to achieve more than 200 kilometers in practice. With the larger battery comes a more powerful 118 hp electric motor. The sprint to the 100 is only slightly faster: the electric Fiat 500 takes 9 seconds around. The top speed is still limited, but at 150 km / h.
Charging and fast charging
A good electric car is also made by the charging options. It is important to distinguish between regular AC charging at home (or public) and fast charging (DC). You mainly do the latter on longer journeys at fast chargers along the highway. The electric Fiat 500 with small battery (the New 500 Action) can fast charge with up to 50 kW of power. Given the limited battery capacity, this is fine, but it does limit the possibilities to cover distances.
With the larger battery, the maximum fast charge speed goes to 85 kW. During the driving test with the electric Fiat 500, we did not have time to do a sensible test of fast charging. In theory, the speed is fine, but practice can sometimes be more unruly.
Charging at home (or public) via AC with a charging station is done by the electric Fiat 500 via three phases with a maximum of 11 kW. With a few hours the battery of the electric Fiat 500 is full again, so this is more than fine. Make sure that your charging station can also provide that 11 kW via three phases.
A compact car, with a low center of gravity, Italian roots and a fair amount of power: that promises something. But the electric Fiat 500 was somewhat disappointing. The little Fiat doesn’t really communicate much about what’s going on. It’s like riding marbles: it’s probably not even going to slide quickly, but it doesn’t give you confidence.
As with other electric cars, the battle between the torque of the electric motor and the driven front wheels is an unequal one. Fortunately, the traction control intervenes quickly and decisively. Still, a rear-wheel drive concept with the rear engine like the ID3 and the 1957 Fiat 500 would have made sense. All in all, it makes the electric Fiat 500 less tossy and flippable than you might expect.
The interior and goodies
This is what Fiat is doing absolutely right, however there is also a “BUT”. First things first: for a compact car, the New 500 is astonishingly practical. You sit relatively upright and a bit higher, so that there is also quite a bit of space in the back seat.
But you are still too high, despite the fact that Fiat claims that the seat is placed lower. In terms of space it is fine, but in a pleasant sitting position I look at the roof edge at 1.94m.
A gigantic upgrade is that nowadays a real infotainment system is available. The basic version only has a holder for a smartphone, but the more luxurious versions get a UConnect 5 infotainment system. Depending on the equipment level, the screen is 7 or 10.25 inches in size.
The price of the electric Fiat 500
The electric Fiat 500 with the small battery and theoretical range of 180 km is available for 24,900 euros. That version is not really recommended, because for 3,700 euros more, the range increases to 320 km. The Fiat New 500e Berlina Passion is available for 28,600 euros.
A convertible with a large fabric folding roof costs 3,000 euros more, the 3 + 1 costs 2,000 euros more. A small third door on the passenger side has been added to the New 500 3 + 1. A door that opens backwards, just like the first 500 in 1957. The third door opens in the opposite direction, but only opens when the front door is already open. The lack of a center pillar makes the rear seat a lot more accessible. All this with a weight gain of 30 kg.
The safety features that are available are unique to the segment. The Adaptive Cruise Control (iACC) and Lane Centering can steer a bit, so Fiat can claim the scoop that the New 500 is the first in its segment to be Level 2 self-driving.
Conclusion electric Fiat 500 driving test
The entry-level model is not recommended, but with a larger battery, the electric Fiat 500 can be used daily. There is not much competition yet, the electric MINI is more expensive and bigger, but not as far. The Volkswagen Group trio (Mii, up! And Citigo-e) are cheaper and have a range of 260 km.
With a low addition, an electric Fiat 500 is still quite interesting for the business driver. If you compare the electric Fiat 500 with its petrol brothers, it becomes clear again how expensive the batteries are. For almost 10 mille less there is already a petrol Fiat 500 in the price list. Despite the lower running costs, an electric Fiat 500 is not very attractive to private individuals, even with a purchase subsidy for electric cars.
Via our partner Mobility Service, the electric Fiat 500 from 539 euros.
Mobility Service is the Techzle partner in business (electric) leasing. More information about Mobility Service can be found on their website zakelijkelektrischleasen.nl
Italians certainly know how to design a car… what a picture!
I also drove the new e on Saturday and was surprised very positively. Runs much more refined than the American import e’s.
In terms of space, it was not too bad, you have the idea to sit in a much larger car than with the previous 500.
He also has plenty of speed.
It’s a good thing that small cars like this one are now also offered as e-cars.
But are there other options for Fiat 500 enthusiasts? Certainly. You can also have an ‘old’ 500 converted by Transition One for 5000 euros.
Off topic: would like to see an article where you cover these types of projects. What options are there if you want to convert your own ICE to electro.
25,000 € for a car that goes 100-120km? Still 3700 € extra to cover about 200km? Battery at 130km / h in 45 minutes empty? As beautiful as this car may be, you could have guessed it with such a super-compact and it’s not the first time I’ve been writing it, as long as we stick to these kind of battery / engine concepts, I don’t have to, electric to drive. I don’t even get to the Belgian coast back and forth from my hometown. And in essence, the basic idea itself is endlessly far from the brilliant concept from 1957. The intention was to create an everyone’s car, and this electric gadget car is clearly not. In the 60s, I remember the images from my childhood, almost everyone had either a 500, a 600, a Vespa or some kind of tricycle. The real ecological footprint was probably also many times lower than this overweight plastic bubble full of toxic metals.
The BEV is still under development, it is certainly not a solution for everyone. Especially when we as humans behave, want to arrive everywhere asap, refuse to adjust. If you do not have a ramp and no other charging options at your home and none at the final destination (work, customer, etc.) then it is not a solution. This does not mean that it is not a solution for others, someone who uses it for short distances and can load it at work can handle it just fine.
@kevertje: fine for the city
That’s such a saying. Yes, there are also people who buy a Rado, beautiful timepiece, but you cannot read much more than the hour with it. Exactly that feeling I get with this car and an average (small) family has nothing to do with something like this because it is far too expensive and far too unrealistic. Build an electric car of 10-12k € that goes 900km as far as the first Peugeotje and I am with it. With a consumption of around 3-4l / 100km, I also want to see the difference in (the real) ecological footprint, from emissions to the required raw materials, I do not believe that these concepts will improve in TCO (also ecological). bring.