The all-electric version of Fiat's 500 mini hatchback, the 500e offers spunky performance, plenty of charisma, and the freedom to swear off gas stations forever. Though sold in California and Oregon only, the 500e remains a solid example of how practical and affordable an EV can be.
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2017 FIAT 500e Overview
What's New for 2017
The 500e carries on essentially unchanged.
Choosing Your FIAT 500e
The Fiat 500e is powered by an 83-kilowatt electric motor that develops 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. A single-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels. The motor gets its juice from a lithium-ion battery pack. The 500e is EPA-estimated to travel up to 87 miles on a full charge in combined city and highway driving. Fiat claims that range can exceed 100 miles in city-only driving thanks to the regenerative braking system. The 500e is actually quicker than non-turbo versions of the gas-powered 500, capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds.
The 500e gets special body components for enhanced aerodynamics and optimum range. They also make it look sportier and more substantial than than standard 500. Recharging a fully depleted battery pack takes about four hours on a 220-volt Level 2 energy source, which is typical for a new EV. We should note that the battery does cut into rear passenger and cargo space, which isn't great to begin with in car this size. It's best to think of the 500e as a roomy two-seater than can carry four in a pinch.
The 500e comes in a single trim level with features like heated front seats, navigation, automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, leatherette upholstery, and unique 15-inch wheels. You also get a six-speaker Alpine sound system with Bluetooth phone and audio, satellite radio, and Fiat's Uconnect control interface. All of this equipment helps justify the $32,795 MSRP.
The only options for the 500e are a sunroof and an e-Sport appearance package, which adds orange exterior trim, dark lamp bezels, and different wheels.
Like all EVs, the 500e comes with a possible federal tax credit up to $7,500. California buyers are also eligible for a $2,500 state rebate, subject to incomes limitations. Even so, lease offers have been irresistibly good lately, especially in California. Be sure to get a lease quote before making any decisions.