Electric version of the Fiat 500
Base MSRP: From $37,900
Destination Charge: $1,495
Tax Credit: up to $7,500
EPA Range: 199 miles, pure electric
Battery: 24 kWh 364 V lithium-ion
Charging Acceptance Rate: 6.6 kW
Dimensions: 142″ L x 64″ W x 60″ H
Reviews of the Fiat 500e
Performance: 87-kilowatt electric motor, 117 horsepower
Mileage estimate: Equivalent of 108-122 mpg
Price estimate: $31,895
Warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Drivetrain warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Roadside assistance: 4 years/ 36,000 miles
Corrosion warranty: 12 years / unlimited miles
2020 Fiat 500e
Introduced in 2013, the Fiat 500e resided on a short list of electric vehicles (EV) that were being hailed for their nod toward the future.
Fast forward nine years and one can’t find the two-door subcompact Fiat 500e at any dealership in the U.S. Last September, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced it was halting production of both the Fiat 500 and 500e hatchbacks in North America due to shrinking sales.
The move was understandable. Total sales of all Fiat 500s reached a high of 43,772 in 2012, but dipped every year after. The 2019 U.S. sales figures are dismal: 3,267.
Despite the lack of success, Fiat has not given up on the 500e, building the new 500e in Turin, Italy. In fact, the 2020 version of the Fiat 500e is better than ever. So, never say never. Perhaps there’s hope for the 500e to make a return to the U.S., especially if Americans discontinue their trend of buying large SUVs and trucks.
The tiny car with the distinct European styling gave U.S. buyers some nostalgia because Fiat initially launched here in 1957, trying to be the Italian version of the popular Volkswagen Beetle. Although it never reached those heights, Fiat did have a modicum of success in its first U.S. venture.
The most notable news concerning the latest version of the 500e is range. It now can travel approximately 199 miles before a charge is required. That’s more than doubling the range (84 miles) of the 2019 Fiat 500e.
There are other notable changes to the 500e. It grows about 2 inches in every direction, so it’s bit longer and wider than before. The headlights are now mounted a little higher and are integrated into the hood.
People love the ease of getting in the wide front doors, but trying to squeeze into the tight back seat can be an effort. The front seat provides very good head and leg room, while the seating in the back for two people is cramped, and is really only suitable for children. Both the back seat and the cargo area – a mere 7.0 cubic feet – suffer from a space standpoint due to accommodating the battery.
The interior features 10.25-inch touchscreen, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. While the 500e’s minimalist interior has a certain retro design appeal, it also serves to limit the functionality.
Fiat also addressed another shortcoming. Previously slow to charge, the time for the 2020 500e is greatly reduced. Using an 85-kilowatt charger, the battery can reach 80 percent in a mere 35 minutes. Charging time remains sizable for a full charge at a typical home outlet – 14 hours.
Vehicle Power and Speed
The 2020 Fiat 500e is powered by a little larger electric motor, this one an 87-kilowatt that is fed from its 42 kWh lithium-ion battery. The electric motor generates 117 horsepower and gets the equivalent of 108-122 mpge.
Acceleration is peppy from a starting point and is solid overall, going 0-60 mph in approximately 9.0 seconds. The 500e’s speed tops out at around 93 mph (previously 88 mph).
Performance is fine and so is the 500e’s driving acumen, due in part to its small dimensions. It grips the road tightly and handles challenging turns with ease thanks to the extra weight (500 pounds) the 500e carries, due to the battery residing in the back seat and cargo area. The 500e is extremely quiet and simple to park, making it ideal for people living in a big city.
The redesigned 2020 Fiat 500e has greater range, charges faster, and overall is an improved product. The downside is, at least for the short term, it won’t be sold in the U.S.
Additional info about the Fiat 500e
Manufacturer details by Fiat
Fiat Reveals an Even Cuter 500 with Doubled Battery Range by Car and Driver
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Videos of the Fiat 500e
The 2018 Fiat 500e: Great for Big City Transportation
Five years ago, the Fiat 500e was among a short list of electric vehicles (EV) that were being hailed for their nod toward the future. The list of EVs has grown considerably since 2013. While updates to the all-electric subcompact, two-door hatchback have been minimal, we still enjoy having this fun EV available.
If you don’t live in California or Oregon, the only two states where the Fiat 500e is sold in dealerships, don’t fret, there is still a way! You have the option of finding one of these small, 3-door EV hatchbacks and having it shipped to you. When it comes to servicing, Fiat keeps a list of dealers nationwide certified to service the 500e electric Fiat models. Visit the Fiat USA website and click on the dropdown menu on the “Owners” link. Under the “Owners” list, click on “Service My FIAT 500e” link at the bottom. Use your zip code to search with their interactive map.
The Fiat 500e is the EV version of the Fiat 500 hatchback, also a diminutive compact. Some car publications believe the 500e is merely a “compliance car,” suggesting that Fiat-Chrysler uses it to meet state requirements for sales of zero-emission vehicles. Compliance vehicle or not, having an electric version of this unique looking vehicle is a great option for those searching for a spunky ride. Some car shoppers really like the design, a rather retro look that includes round headlights and a sloping rear end that creates an overall appearance that is reminiscent of the Fiat 500 years ago.
An 84 mile all-electric range puts the 2018 Fiat 500e on the lower end of pure electric vehicles as far as mileage range goes in today’s market, but charging with a Level 2 EVSE at home overnight will replenish the battery (in about 4 hours) so that you can start fresh the next day. A Quick Charge is not yet an option for the 2018 Fiat 500e. With the lack of Quick Charge capability and relatively low mileage range, we don’t recommend taking this particular EV on a road trip.
Vehicle Power and Speed
The 2018 Fiat 500e is powered by an 83-kilowatt electric motor that generates 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. It gets the equivalent of 108-122 mpg. The 500e utilizes a 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
Acceleration is peppy from a starting point and is solid overall, going 0-60 mpg in approximately 8.0 seconds. Not surprisingly, that is quicker than the gas-powered Fiat 500. The 500e’s speed tops out at around 88 mph.
Performance is fine and so is the 500e’s driving acumen due in part to its small dimensions. It grips the road tightly and handles challenging turns well thanks to the extra weight (500 pounds) the 500e carries low, due to the battery residing in the back seat and cargo area. The 500e is extremely quiet and simple to park, making it ideal for people living in a big city.
We loved the ease of getting in the side front doors, but trying to squeeze into the tight back seat can be an effort. The front seat provides very good head and leg room, while the seating in the back for two people is a bit cramped. Both the back seat and the cargo area, a mere 7.0 cubic feet, suffer from a space standpoint due to accommodating the battery. A MINI Cooper is small, but the Fiat 500 is much smaller, 7 inches shorter than the MINI Cooper.
The cabin is colorful, but somewhat of a mixed bag overall. Some materials are subpar, but the overall layout is fairly intuitive. The touchscreen is on the small side and the 500e doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay compatibility. New for 2018 is adding the rearview camera as a standard feature.
When compared to the competition, the 2018 Fiat 500e has some room to grow (no pun intended), most notably its overall mileage range and lack of a Quick Charge option. We hope Fiat-Chrysler will make improvements on the 500e in these aspects going forward.