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Cars fiat-500e

Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan

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Best Electric Car Of 2013 Is Fiat 500e, According To Road & Track

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The Fiat 500e is probably not the car that first came to mind when you saw “Best Electric Car of 2013,” but the car has gotten great reviews and is certainly cute. The ironic and unfortunate thing is that the 500e is a definitecompliance car,” only being produced because of California’s automobile requirements (and Fiat’s obvious desire to be in the California market).

fiat-500e

The Fiat 500e is a car I have yet to test drive or even see in the wild, but it has gotten consistently great reviews and I do think it is a cute (or sexy) car. And Road & Track editors loved it enough to put it on the magazine’s first “Best Cars” list.

Chrysler Group “must like having big fun on the clock, because this thing will chirp its tires and lay elevens all day,” R&T editors said about the Fiat 500e.

fiat 500e interiorThe Fiat 500e, which sold out fast and can be leased for as low as $199/month (if the dealers go with the sales pitch), reportedly has great acceleration while also scoring the best fuel efficiency in its class, 116 MPGe.

Here’s more on the Fiat 500e from a press release about the new award:

Engineered as a no-compromise EV, it features a unique “blended” braking strategy that affords the coasting experience associated with conventionally powered vehicles, along with the benefits regenerative braking brings to battery recharging.

In most cases, the Fiat 500e uses 100% of its regenerative braking capability all the way down to 8 mph. This maximizes the vehicle’s efficiency, while enabling longer brake life.

A unique lower-body structure provides packaging and protection for the 2014 Fiat 500e’s 24-kWh battery, while providing a 10 percent improvement in bending stiffness.

In a significant boost to handling, the battery’s position redistributes the 500e’s front-to-rear weight ratio. It is 57:43, compared with 64:36 for the conventionally powered Cinquecento.

The result is a tighter and stiffer feel and better control at higher speeds – all of which contribute to added driver confidence.

The 2014 Fiat 500e pushes its iconic Italian design forward with a shape sculpted in the wind tunnel. The car achieves a 0.311 coeffient of drag (Cd), which is 13 percent better than the Fiat 500 Lounge’s 0.359.

The 500e’s dot-matrix exterior styling theme is reprised inside, where retro-futuristic design fuses with unique EV technology elements such as a uniquely designed electronic shifter with easy-to-use push-button transmission mode selection.

The 500e’s cutting-edge 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) instrument cluster displays full-color picture graphics to illustrate vehicle functions, charge levels and trip information. In addition, an EV-specific TomTom Navigation unit enables the driver to view the vehicle’s charge schedule, range, and power-flow gauges, and can even locate nearby charging stations, showing real-time availability.

The Fiat Access smartphone app (compatible with iPhone and Android) further enhances the ownership experience, offering three years of connected services to manage charging via remote, track a driver’s energy use, locate the vehicle and nearby charging stations, while providing provides text-message and email alerts.

I guess we can thank California for this one, and Fiat for at least creating a nice electric car, even if it doesn’t intend to produce and sell more than a few hundred of them.






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About the Author

spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as the director/chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of Solar Love, EV Obsession, Planetsave, or Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media. You can connect with Zach on any popular social networking site you like. Links to all of his main social media profiles are on ZacharyShahan.com.



  • Jouni Valkonen

    I heard about a year ago, that Fiat does not make any profit per vehicle sold, because it is only there so that Fiat can sell ICE cars in California without paying protection money for Tesla (I am not exactly sure how the Californian EV law works).

    That could explain why 500e has so good price performance and Fiat has not scaled up the production, although it is unquestionably competitive car — if it was profitable.

    • Bob_Wallace

      California again leads to push to improving efficiency. Car companies have a choice to either barely comply as Fiat has chosen to do or to actually get into the game as Tesla, Nissan and GM have.

      Rewards should flow to those who do the right thing.

    • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Fiat is including the initial R&D costs of producing an electric car in that cost per car. As is always the case with new cars of any type, auto companies must produce a lot before they get their money back on that part (and then start making a profit off the cars). If Fiat wanted to, I’m sure it could ramp up production enough over the coming years to get its money back. But the head of Fiat is staunchly opposed to EVs for some reason, so the company does the bare minimum to get into the huge California market (which has nothing to do with Tesla) and won’t do more despite massive demand for this year.

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