Sunday, October 19, 2014

Is it time for you to check out the Fiat 500e?

In recent years, electric cars have come to be seen as relatively bland-looking econoboxes that, in spite of their great economy, don’t really appeal to everyone. As a matter of fact, you’ve really got to be a bit on the trendy side and not afraid of what people have to say about your car’s styling to opt for a Prius over a Mustang. Now, that’s not to say that Fiat hasn’t received its share of lumps over the car’s diminutive, European styling, but the fact remains that as far as small cars go, it’s pretty tough to find another small, efficient vehicle that both gives a stylish impression, as well as reasonably good performance. The Fiat 500e electric vehicle does manage to provide all these traits, packaged in a vehicle that really does look good if you aren’t too set against that European small-car aesthetic.

The electric vehicle category, in the last few years, has done well to revamp their formerly futuristic styling, focusing instead on the performance and comfort of electric cars, further boosting their efficiency. The Fiat 500e more than adequately fills this bill, but it isn’t a particularly cheap automobile to buy. Starting out at $31,800, buyers are treated to standard features like halogen headlamps, heated seats, and usb interface. Just as important, though, is the incredible, sporty interior that more than adequately takes care of seating needs for two adults, though four might prove a bit cramped on any road trip lasting more than an hour or two. Still, it’s enough for the kids, so families shouldn’t be dissuaded from looking into the 500e as a daily driver. Don’t let the price throw you off too much, though, as there are loads of incentives available that can drastically reduce not just your initial purchase price, but also the overall cost of ownership.

As to economy, the 500e shines. Built as an all-electric vehicle, the Fiat herein described manages the equivalent traveling economy of 108 miles per gallon (listed as 29 kw/h per 100 miles in electric speak) on a full charge. That’s more than enough to ferry the typical American family to all their daily activities on a single charge. The 500c utilizes a 111-horsepower, 147-pound/foot electric motor to put power to the ground, and it provides more than enough oomph to zip away from stoplights at an exciting clip. Married to this performance is fun, zippy suspension performance that makes the 500c really quite fun to drive!

That’s not to say that the Fiat 500e doesn’t have it’s share of drawbacks, and in a market like the United States, where bigger usually translates to better, they can be pretty significant. First off, like other electric cars, it needs to be charged. The trouble is that a typical 120-volt charger will do the job in just shy of 24 hours. Unless you plan on going to work every other day, this could be problematic. That means you may have to spring for the stage 2 charging system if you get home at night and only have 8 hours or less to charge up your 500e. Now, the next problem is that the 500e simply isn’t available everywhere just now. In spite of the interest in electric cars these days, the 500e can only be had in Oregon and California, and even then, they’re a bit on the rare side. Dealers aren’t going to have hundreds of them in stock for everyone who wants one, so if you do want one, you might have to do some looking to come across one.

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