Electric Fiat 500E Comes Closer to Production, in 2013

By · August 23, 2012

Fiat 500 BEV Concept interior

Interior of concept version of Fiat 500 electric car.

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.


· David K. (not verified) · 5 years ago

The Fiat 500 is not a sales success because they do not offer it with the 50+ mpg twin-air engine in the states, if you want to sell a small car people expect great mileage, real simple.
If you want to sell an EV the driving factors are price and range.

· · 5 years ago

I'm really surprised that Chrysler hasn't shared its Turbo Encabulator technology with Fiat.
I'm thinking that this would be a natural for the 500E . . .


< :-0

· ccc (not verified) · 5 years ago

What?? The 500 is proving to be a big success. Its sales have picked up greatly after the full dealership network comes online, doing much better than when the MINI was introduced to the States. Can't stand writers who either are ignorant or purposely bend the facts.

Also, David, it is clear you don't understand the most recent US fuel economy ratings which are very conservative. Many owners of the 500 typically get in the high 40s in mpg. It would be interesting to see the twin-air engine here, but again you over simplify things... and euro fuel economy takings are a whole different beast.

Anyway, proof is in the pudding, you see 500s all over the place in California, and love it or hate it, SF and LA lead the US in direction for urban area trends.

· SVL (not verified) · 5 years ago

In Europe, quite a bit of the 500 can be seen on the road, so I don't think it's a commercial failure.

I'd like to know what battery pack this thing will sport, as it's the right size for me, and the only other option in this segment is the Zoe. The Leaf and Focus are too big for my taste.

· · 5 years ago

I'm also seeing a quite a few 500s tooling around metro Tucson. I just hope that the E version doesn't become a low production, California-only compliance car.

Also . . . please click that You Tube link I posted above. It's a bit of inside engineering-related humor about a device that doesn't exist but is explained in "great detail." That it came out of Chrysler made it opportune to put it on this conversational thread.

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