Print 15 comment(s) - last by Pirks.. on Dec 1 at 3:20 PM

Fiat unveils new electric vehicle with an estimated 80-mile range

Fiat has unveiled an all-new electric vehicle this week called the 2013 Fiat 500e. This is first electric vehicle in the Fiat Cinquecento line and should deliver an estimated 116 MPGe fuel rating in the city. Fiat also promises that the little electric car will get 100 MPGe on the highway.

The estimated driving range for the 500e is 80 miles on a full charge (although Chrysler points out that city driving could see that range extended past 100 miles). The vehicle has a new battery-electric powertrain producing 111 hp and the battery packs are able to recharge in under four hours when combined with the Level 2 onboard charging module.

"The Fiat 500e changes the paradigm in an electric vehicle market that's quickly becoming crowded," said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand North America. "The Fiat 500e offers iconic Italian design and a great combination of performance and range, with battery technology that delivers consistent performance across all weather conditions."

Inside the vehicle is a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster display that shows full-color graphics to illustrate vehicle functions. The data provided includes charge levels and a trip summary. The vehicle also has integrated TomTom Navigation allowing the driver to view the vehicles charge schedule, range, and power flow gauges as well as find nearby charging stations with real-time availability. The electric vehicle also gets an electronic shifter with pushbutton transmission mode selection.
The Fiat 500e will hit dealer showrooms in second quarter 2013 at an undisclosed price.

Source: Chrysler

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RE: space ?
By SublimeSimplicity on 11/29/2012 9:23:14 AM , Rating: 3
The batteries are in the floor. No lost backseat or trunk space.

RE: space ?
By Dr of crap on 11/29/2012 9:30:33 AM , Rating: 2
I know - it was to be a funny commnet since the car is already small!

RE: space ?
By SublimeSimplicity on 11/29/2012 9:37:50 AM , Rating: 1
I don't think people realize how far battery tech has come in recent years. Today batteries take about 3x-4x the volume of space gasoline takes to produce the same driving range. This does not consider the additional space needed by a gasoline powertrain (bigger "motor", radiator, mufflers, etc) vs an electric powertrain. That is just gas tank to battery pack.

Keep in mind that battery tech is still making order of magnitude improvements, while cars just marginal improvements. A 5% improvement in energy capacity for a battery won't even make a headline here, 5% fuel economy improvement is almost revolutionary.

RE: space ?
By Dorkyman on 11/29/2012 10:31:13 AM , Rating: 3
Perhaps the better term would have been "moderate" rather than "order of magnitude." The latter term means a tenfold change, not 5%.

And my impression is that ICEs featuring start-stop technology gain more than 5% right off the top. But you'll hardly notice a 5% improvement at the gas pump.

RE: space ?
By Shig on 11/29/2012 11:36:03 AM , Rating: 2
Battery advancement is around 6-8% a year, ICE has been improving around the same rate.

ICE has come about as far as it can go, there are just limits to how efficient an ICE can be in comparison to an electric power-train.

Also, this car is an example of how NOT to make an electric car. Electric cars have numerous advantages and several disadvantages that have to be considered when designing the car, you can't just throw an electric drive-train into an ICE car and expect it to sell.

I'm starting to wonder if the classic automakers can truly make a great all electric, maybe they need to stick to hybrids and plug in hybrids.

RE: space ?
By Pirks on 11/30/2012 4:26:52 AM , Rating: 2
The only breakthrough EVs are made by Tesla these days. Elon Musk blew everyone else off the map with Roadster and then with even more sexy Model S. The rest of the industry compared to him looks like cheap Chinese OEMs compared to Apple.

RE: space ?
By djc208 on 11/30/2012 10:54:57 AM , Rating: 2
But just like Apple there is not really enough room in most markets (cars included) for that kind of company. Tesla has a boutique style company with an Apple level PR right now.

But most of the industry is based on Android phones which may not have the appeal or PR, but are just as capable and practical.

The car industry is no different. The market for these vehicles is TINY and the prices and tradeoffs are still too big. So most car companies are not going to do all the work required to build a new car line around an electric powertrain for the kind of sales volume that Tesla has.

Slapping an electric drivetrain into an existing car line is a lot cheaper in both design and regulatory costs, though it's still far more complicated than your average engine swap. And honestly for cars like the 500 it's ideal since they're not exactly great highway cars to begin with, if the cost of entry to the electric version can be made close to the gas (which is more likely with this type of conversion then a new car) many more people would consider one as a second vehicle.

RE: space ?
By Pirks on 12/1/2012 3:20:30 PM , Rating: 2
like Apple there is not really enough room in most markets
If Apple became the biggest tech company with not really enough room in most markets, why Tesla can't do the same?

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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