One factor severely limits availability of the 500e: It's only available in the state of California.
This diminutive vehicle features an electric powertrain that produces decent horsepower 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). All 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque are sent through a single-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels.
Range is decent—87 miles on a full charge—and economy is outstanding. Expect 122 MPGe city and 108 MPGe highway.
Fiat engineers designed a unique chassis and suspension for the EV powertrain, while further enhancing the engaging European driving dynamics for which Fiat is known.
Unique in the EV segment is the Fiat 500e's innovative "blended braking" system. Unlike other EVs in the market that create a "drag" feeling when lifting off the accelerator pedal, the 2014 Fiat 500e is designed to regenerate and feel like a regular gasoline-powered 500.
The Fiat 500E is loaded with equipment. The only options are upgraded wheels, a sunroof and a few special trim items.