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City Cars

FIAT New 500 Electric

FIAT New 500 Electric

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size: FIAT New 500 Electric
  • Fuel: Electric
  • Range (WLTP): 203 miles
FIAT New 500 Electric

Summary

City cars are both perfectly suited to going EV, and completely unsuitable at the same time. You see on the one hand they often do lots of short trips and spend a lot of time in dense urban areas where EV’s are cleaner and much more efficient, but on the other their diminutive stature makes it hard to fit the batteries in and makes it really hard to hide the cost of the battery. In other words they are expensive and don’t go very far.

So can FIAT, the king of the city car, solve this riddle. Well the electric 500 is a lot more expensive than the petrol model, so at first glance it isn’t looking great. But….. despite looking a lot like a FIAT 500 this is actually a completely different car to the petrol models. Designed from the ground up as a bespoke EV platform it shares nothing in common, so direct price comparison don’t make a lot of sense. Thankfully FIAT has retained the tiny footprint with a length of 3.6 metres and a width of 1.68 metres it stays true to the 500 concept.

Turning the 500 into an electric car has made a massive difference, and it is all positive. The 42 kWh battery which delivers a very good 199 miles on the official tests and can reach 285 miles on the city test, confounds expectations. We’re still not sure how FIAT has fitted it all in, but it turns the 500 from a niche city option to a genuine alternative to bigger more expensive cars.

There is more goods news on the charging front because the 500e can handle up to 85 kW which means that a 10% – 80% charge can be dispatched in less than 30 minutes at an Ultra Rapid charger. Of course you can still use the more plentiful 50 kW Rapid chargers as well, it just takes a bit longer. The result is that will get you back on the road quickly if you do need to make a longer journey, and thanks to the good range stops won’t be too frequent. AC charging is handled by an on-board 11 kW charger.

The opportunity to re-imagine the 500 as an EV has also solved our biggest gripes with the petrol variant. Placing the batteries in the floor enables a significantly lower centre of gravity and provides a much better weight distribution. This translates into a much better driving experience. Despite a very respectable 1365 kg kerb weight it also feels much better engineered, and as a result starts to justify the higher price tag. The new interior builds on the feel good factor, it looks good, but also feels significantly more up market. It also features physical buttons for key functions such as ventilation, which is something that we think all manufacturers should be doing, without detracting for the stylish design.

On the road, FIAT has wisely prioritised comfort, and the combination of pot hole friendly tyres and a compliant suspension set up does a great job. The only issue is that as the speed rises it does lack vertical body control and can get bouncy. Best to dial the speed back and enjoy the view and tranquility. Further evidence of the laid back approach can be found in the 3 drive modes – Normal, Range, Sherpa – are on offer, Sport is not an option. That makes a lot of sense to us.

The electric 500 does go along way to solving the city car conundrum. The 42 kWh pack does deliver both range and 85 kW Rapid charging, making it entirely feasible to undertake longer journeys whilst maintaining the diminutive footprint that is perfectly suited to city living. Best of all it has a real feel good factor and does feel like a premium offering which goes some way to justifying the price tag.

 

Read our full  FIAT 500 electric review

 

Estimated real world range: 140 – 203 miles
Official range: 203 miles
Official electricity consumption: 137 Wh/km
Battery pack: 42 kWh (gross) 37.3 kWh (net) lithium ion; 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty
Recharge time: 7 kW charge approx 6 hours; 11 kW charge approx 4 hours; Rapid CCS 50 kW approx 34 minutes (10 – 80%); Ultra Rapid CCS 85 kW approx 25 minutes (10 – 80%)

 

Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over-estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.

Specifications FIAT New 500 Electric

  • Fuel economy, extra urban: N/A
  • Fuel economy, urban: 287 miles
  • CO2 emissions: Officially 0 g/km. Estimated average UK grid electricity approx 29 g/km (203 mile range); (140 mile range) 42 g/km
  • VED: £0 a year
  • Weight: 1365 Kg
  • BIK Company Car Tax (2023/24): 2%
  • Price: £31,195
  • Insurance group: 17
  • Power: 116 bhp
  • Max speed: 93 mph
  • 0-62mph: 9 seconds
  • Torque: 162 lb ft