In an attempt to compete with other manufactures producing all-electric vehicles, Fiat has turned its successful 500 into an EV. The 500e uses a series of lithium ion batteries to produce 111 hp, giving the 500e an 87-mile range.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) says the Fiat has a 106 MPGe rating, which is class leading. Being a zero emissions vehicle, the 500e received a perfect 10 out of 10 with regard to tests related to tailpipe emissions.
Using a 240-volt plug, the Fiat 500e can be fully charged in a fast 4 hours.
Due to the car’s electric powertrain, the 500e has a redesigned chassis and suspension system to accommodate the car’s increased weight. Because the 500e is electric, Fiat redesigned the exterior to eliminate unnecessary intakes used to keep the gasoline engined 500 cool. This reduces the 500e’s drag coefficient to .311.
The interior of the car has been updated to provide the driver with pertinent information regarding battery life. A new 7-inch LCD screen provides the driver with information concerning battery range, and battery charging. An integrated TomTom navigation unit tells the driver where the nearest charging station is, and can also relay up to the minute information about charging station availability.
When the Fiat 500e is launched in the second quarter of 2013, Fiat will make available a smartphone app that will provide information regarding battery use, charging station locations, and vehicle maintenance information.