Electric Fiat 500E Comes Closer to Production, in 2013
The electric Fiat 500 continues to be spotted on public roads in near-production form. Even though Fiat has not officially released details about the electric hatchback, it seems certain that the vehicle, formerly known as the Fiat 500 BEV, will launch in 2013.
Spy photos of the small EV started to emerge in late 2011. A new set of images, and a brief report, posted by Car and Driver show that the electric Fiat sports "500E" lettering on the inside. The near-production-ready 500E features a Chrysler-developed electric powertrain and a lithium-ion battery pack. A 100-horsepower electric motor drives the front wheels. A full set of exact specs have not yet been released.
The 500E closely resembles the gas-burning Fiat 500, though it's believed that the production 500E will receive a few unique exterior enhancements, including revised front and rear fascias.
When the 500E launches in limited production numbers in 2013, its main competitors will include the Ford Focus Electric, Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i.
Recent sales numbers for those vehicles have been low, and the gas-powered Fiat 500 is "not considered a sales success," by Car and Driver. These factors suggest that the Fiat 500E, despite its cute looks, might sell in very low numbers, unless its price is set well below the competition.
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