A cute urban EV from Fiat that will rival the Honda e and the Mini Cooper SE electric

EV technology is still not foolproof and people still have range anxiety. That is one of the reasons why buyers are steering clear from EVs until the range issue becomes as minuscule as it is in internal combustion cars. Perhaps that is why automakers are focusing on building urban EV commuters where the range anxiety is not the biggest issue.

Fiat is the latest automaker to dive into the urban EV market with its offering, the 500. Although it seems to be the electric version of the 500 hatch, the 500 is actually built new from the ground up.

It Is Slightly Longer And Wider Than The Old 500

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It Exterior
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It’s surprising why Fiat built a product from scratch just to give it the same looks as the existing 500. Brand recall?

The 500 more or less borrows the classic 500’s looks as it is, but it’s a tad longer and wider than the 500. There are a few things that differentiate it from its internal combustion counterpart. For starters, the Fiat badge on the front fascia is replaced with a 500 badge.

Round LED headlights make their way here, but the bonnet line strikes through them for a split effect. Was this to avoid the design conflict with MINI cars? The top half, however, only receives the outer circle which doubles up as Daytime Running Lights. There is no grille, per se, and the air dam below features a unique design element.

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It Exterior
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The side profile is pretty conventional and the two-door layout makes it a sweet-looking hatch. The line that intersects the hood is extended to the sides and strikes through the doors all the way to the taillights. Fortunately, Fiat didn’t go overboard to give a weird wheel design to the 500. The 17-inch set that the company has chosen actually looks quite hot. The rear looks cute and has a more rounded appeal that the standard 500. The taillights have intricate details in them and look fresh. The taillights light up in an e-shaped monogram to remind the onlookers that this isn’t a standard 500, but an electric one.

2020 Fiat 500e exterior dimensions
Length 3.63 meters (11.8 feet)
Width 1.69 meters (5.5 feet)
Height 1.48 meters (4.6 feet)

Cabin Is Loaded With Creature Comforts

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It Interior
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The flat-bottom steering wheel is meaty and comes with a dual-tone wrap. The digital instrument cluster is a seven-inch screen that sits in a round housing. The dash houses a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system and runs on FCA’s UConnect 5 OS.

There are a plethora of buttons underneath this and the overall setup looks stunning. The gear selector is now present in the form of buttons on the dash itself. As for the other features, it comes with eco-leather seats and a host of driver assistance systems such as automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

A Decent Powertrain And Battery Pack For Urban Usage

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It Exterior
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The 500 is powered by a single motor that makes 118 horses. Fiat claims that the little urban commuter can sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in nine seconds and has a top speed of 93 mph.

It comes with three drive modes to choose from – Normal, Range, and Sherpa. The Sherpa mode restricts the use of some car functions and kills the performance to extract as much range as possible.

Fiat has installed a 42-kWh battery pack in the 500. According to the lenient WLTP standards, it will offer a range of 199 miles. It’ll be interesting to see what the EPA range estimate will be.

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It Exterior
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The Mini Cooper SE electric also comes with a similarly sized battery pack and offers 153 miles on a full charge, whereas the Honda e delivers 138 miles with a 35.5-kWh battery pack. Fiat says 80-percent of the battery can be replenished in 35 minutes using an 85-kW charger. In domestic conditions, it takes 14 hours to charge the battery fully.

2020 Fiat 500e specifications
Range 320 km (199 miles) WLTP
Battery Pack / Capacity Lithium-ion / 42 kWh
Charging AC Fast Charger Combo 2: 85 kW DC Mode 3: 11 kWDC Wallbox: 3-7 kW 
Power 118 hp (88 kW) 
Top Speed 150 km/h (93 mph)
Acceleration 0-50 km/h (31 mph) 3.1 sec
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 9.0 sec

Final Thoughts

The Fiat 500 Is Now Only Sold as an EV - Here's What You Need to Know About It Exterior
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Fiat hasn’t announced when the 500 will hit the markets, but it will be launching the special First Edition 500 first up with a starting price of €37,500 (approximately $41,900).

Spending millions (€700 million to be precise, according to an earlier announcement from Fiat) to develop a product from the ground up in what could have been a simple EV conversion of its current product is a testimony to how serious Fiat is about the 500.

It plans to sell over 80,000 examples annually. But, on the flip side, if Fiat launched it on the same platform and body shell, it could’ve contained the cost and given stiff competition to the Honda e and Mini Cooper SE electric, which start at $32,500 and $29,900 respectively.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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