FIAT: All-electric 500 confirmed for later this year11 March 2020
Starting with the convertible, the iconic Fiat 500 will transform into an all-electric car 2020, with a 199-mile range which will top the Honda e and MINI Electric.
As expected, the third generation of the modern Fiat 500 will only be available as an all-electric car. Set for launch later this year, the iconic city car will rival the Skoda Citigo e iV, Honda e and MINI Electric, but beats all of those cars for available range when fully charged.
The new 500’s 42kWh lithium-ion battery pack is said to offer a range of up to 199 miles under the WLTP testing cycle. That's more than the 161-mile range of the Skoda Citigo e iV and the 137-mile range of the Honda e. While UK pricing hasn't been announced yet, it's likely the electric 500 will also undercut both the Honda and MINI.
The electric 500 will come equipped to receive 85kW fast charging capacity, which will add 31 miles of range in a mere five minutes, which, says Fiat, covers the average daily commute. An 80% charge can be achieved in 35 minutes using the Type 2 charging socket.
Its 87kW (118hp) electric motor can get the Fiat 500 from 0-62mph in nine seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 93mph.
Three driving modes will be available called 'Normal', 'Range' and 'Sherpa'. The Sherpa mode focuses on ultimate efficiency to ensure the driver can reach the destination in the satnav or get to the nearest charger. In ‘Sherpa’ mode, the car’s top speed is limited to 31mph, while the accelerator response is reduced and the climate control and heated seats are deactivated.
'Normal' replicates the driving experience of a petrol-engined Fiat 500, while 'Range' mode activates one-pedal driving, where lifting off the accelerator puts energy back into the battery pack.
The car will also offer 'Level 2' autonomous driving, using front-facing cameras and an array of sensors to monitor around the car. This will enable intelligent cruise control and lane centering that keeps the car on course on marked roads.
Six centimetres longer and wider, this iteration of the Fiat 500 also has a slightly longer wheelbase, expected to slightly improve shoulder and legroom, while the electric powertrain allows for a flat floor and an unchanged luggage capacity to the Fiat 500 Hybrid.
While the exterior design is still very recognisable, the Fiat 500 now features a smooth nose and the second '0' of '500' has a slash to subtly change it to an 'e' for 'electric'. Upgrades continue inside thanks to a new UConnect5 Fiat infotainment system. It has a 10.25-inch horizontal touchscreen and promises improved smartphone functionality, including the car’s status, route information and an assistant service.
The lack of a gear stick means the centre console has been reduced in size, creating a large gap between the driver and passenger's knees.
Trim levels for the UK have yet to be confirmed, however the European launch model is available in La Dolce Vita and La Prima trim levels. The latter gets LED headlights, 'eco-leather' upholstery, 17-inch alloy wheels and chrome exterior trim.
The all-electric 500 will use a brand new platform currently in development, designed purely for EVs. Until now, the 500 has shared a platform with the Panda, but the future of the ageing Panda remains uncertain.