If you're shopping for a lively runabout, and you can deal with smaller spaces, Fiat's Cinquecento elettrico (500e) is the car for you. The 4-seat pure electric hatchback remains a small, fun-to-drive, economical electric car.
Aaron Cole, Managing Editor of thecarconnection.com says about the 2018 Fiat 500e: “The 500e is a fashionable way to drive an all-electric vehicle, but its comparatively short battery range and limited availability undermines its broader appeal." Sold only in California and Oregon, it weighs 500 lbs less than the Nissan Leaf but uses a motor that’s the same size, making it slightly more powerful, maneuverable and quicker (0 to 60 in around 8.2 seconds) than the Leaf. Drivers love its smooth, quiet acceleration, cheerful character and easy handling. The rear seats are remarkably cramped and cargo space is predictably small. The 500e is powered by a 111-horsepower electric motor with a single-speed transmission. Top speed is 88 mph.
Edmunds reviewers say: "The electric 500e was introduced in 2015 and instantly injected life into the stylish Italian coupe. It has enough range to compete with segment leaders and charges quickly, too. Add its small proportions, precise handling and EV pep, and you get a truly enjoyable car. The Fiat 500e is offered as one model only. There is one trim level option, the eSport, if you prefer a more customized look. It adds darkened exterior accents and special wheels and looks pretty cool. But we prefer to save the roughly $500 and put the cash in our pocket because the 500e is stylized enough for our tastes as it stands.
The 500e is an entertaining electric vehicle. It's actually quicker to 60 mph than a regular Fiat 500, and it keeps up with the 500 Turbo. Driving that enthusiastically will greatly reduce range, however, so it's best to keep a light foot. Copious electric-motor torque gives the 500e great off-the-line punch. Our 500e scooted to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which is above average in the EV world and actually ties the Fiat 500 Turbo's time. The 500e stands apart from other electric vehicles with its great balance and an eagerness to turn. It's one of the most entertaining electric vehicles you can buy today. The 500e borrows its looks from the 500, which borrows its looks from the Italian post-war icon. It’s a modern interpretation of a classic, and a good one by our eyes. The 500e doesn’t stray far from the 500 but gets its own front and rear bumpers, door side sills, and badges. The interior is cute without being kitsch. The 500e draws motivation from an 83-kilowatt (111-horsepower) electric motor and 24-kwh battery. Its range is rated at 84 miles by the EPA, but at city speeds the 500e could improve on that number.
The 500e also may be the most fun 500 to drive, according to us. The batteries add more than 500 pounds to the overall weight, and the increased mass sits low in the car. That leaves the 500e feeling more planted, less top-heavy, and somewhat brighter. A single-speed transmission provides nearly effortless thrust, and it’s entertaining—albeit 84 miles at a time."
Edmunds: "Fiat has solved the problem of how to make a compact EV look good; with its chic, iconic Italian design, the 500e is considered one of the most stylish electrics. It’s 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack offers an 84 mile range. Charge time is less than 4 hours with a Level 2 charger, 24 hours with a Level 1 (110V) charger. At the end of 2013, Ward’s Auto included the Fiat 500e among its 2014 list of 10 Best Engines Award, an award received by both the Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt in 2010. Ward's Auto review team says: “The conventional 500’s two most endearing qualities, styling cuteness and fun-to-drive character, have been well preserved in this EV version. The 500e dashes from stoplights with such confidence that even hard-hearted internal-combustion devotees will find themselves recalibrating their perceptions after a test drive.”
Auto Trader reviewers say: "It's hard to find a vehicle that combines driving enjoyment, fuel efficiency and a fashionable look at a rock-bottom price, but that's exactly what the FIAT 500e promises. In fact, it promises even more than that, touting the style and driving experience of a standard FIAT 500, plus a fully electric motor and zero emissions."
The 500e's motor (83 kW and 200 Nm / 147 lb.-ft. of torque) is combined with 9.6:1 gear reduction single-speed gearbox. The car is eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of $7500, a California State Rebate of $2500 and HOV stickers.
There are currently 4 primary incentives available to the California consumer that substantially lower the cost of buying or leasing an EV. CURRENT provides all the guidance or assistance you may need to apply for these incentives.