By Joe Bruzek on January 3, 2013
Fiat's electrified 500e hatchback is officially rated with an EPA-estimated range of 87 miles per charge. Fiat says the subcompact 500e's range is better than other electric vehicles in its class as well as all U.S.-market EVs produced by high-volume manufacturers. The Tesla Model S is not included in this claim with its maximum 265-mile estimated range nor is the 2012 Coda Sedan (sold in California only) with 88-mile range. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive rates at 68 miles, Mitsubishi i-MiEV is 62 miles and the Nissan Leaf has a 73-mile range.
The 500e's miles per gallon equivalent is a combined 116 city/highway with a 122 MPGe city rating and 108 MPGe highway rating. The EPA also estimates a full year of driving (15,000 miles) to cost $500 for charging. By comparison, the i-MiEV's estimated annual cost is $550 and both the ForTwo's and Leaf’s is $600.
The all-electric 500e is powered by a 111-horsepower electric motor that propels the subcompact to a maximum speed of 85 mph. Supplying juice to the motor is a 24-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery with an estimated charge time of less than four hours on 240-volt Level 2 charging. Expect charging times of around 24 hours on 120-volt power.
California will be the first state to see the 500e when it goes on sale in the second quarter of 2013.
Road Test Editor Joe Bruzek covers Cars.com’s short-and long-term fleet of test cars and drives a 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Email Joe