This Is the Next Best Thing to a Tesla and I& m Buying One …

26 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи This Is the Next Best Thing to a Tesla and I& m Buying One … отключены
Fiat 500e Electric Cars

This Is the Next Best to a Tesla, and I m Buying One

LOS ANGELES, CA – The 500e is the best electric that doesn t cost And it s the first EV I d consider owning.

I ve looking for an affordable, entertaining EV for And failing. The Nissan Leaf has all the of a dishwasher. The Ford Focus is a litany of compromises.

The Honda Fit EV – fun – feels like a plastic box. And it s best to not even the Mitsubishi i or the forthcoming (and named) Smart ForTwo ED .

All of EVs are an uninspiring mishmash of an existing with a hastily engineered drivetrain stuffed inside. You say the same about the 500e. But you re

By slapping an electric motor up and a battery pack from to stern, Fiat has managed to the 500 better  than its gas-powered And here s the kicker: After a day with one, I can say it s arguably a value.

Allow me to explain.

I a parking lot in the outskirts of L.A. and lay the throttle. All 147 pound-feet of torque is in a millisecond to the front wheels as I down the road. Yes, I did an (admittedly short) burnout in an EV.


As the initial wave of begins to fade, the 83 kW electric begins delivering 111 horsepower, is 10 hp more than the standard At just under 3,000 it s more than enough to the electrified Fiat through holes in traffic, despite the 600 pounds of weight saddled to the of the chassis by the 24 kWh, liquid-cooled and battery pack.

As any driving knows, extra weight is and two linebackers worth is worse. But in the the extra tonnage is used to (sorry) good effect, the center of gravity and increasing the rigidity by 10 percent. That it an even more competent than the rest of the 500 fleet, – if you ll excuse the gearhead geekery for a – has a less-than-optimal weight balance of front-to-rear.

The 500e has something to a BMW, with a spread of You just don t find that in EVs – except for one .

As you d expect of something this heavy and underpowered, it s not exactly a tool. Zero to 60 mph takes 9.1 but let s forget about that metric for a moment and talk again. From zero to 30 few things this side of an exotic could keep up, and that speed – like on the freeway – all that s necessary to a pass is a quick mash of the

I ve also have to give to Fiat s engineers for refraining saddling the 500e with some kind of ECO-mode s one setting, all the time, and you choose how to your electrons. And over a route, I chose to have fun and managed a respectable range, 48 miles left on the battery.

of that was due to the canyon roads s PR team expertly chose for my which would capture kinetic energy to recharge the during my descent. But even that in mind, the 500e s is better than the competition. claims an 87-mile range and off my time behind the wheel, I they re playing it conservative.

Ninety-plus miles should be the for the average driver, particularly if you re any amount of time in the Fiat s environment: the city.

That s the regenerative braking system into full effect. the Tesla Model S and other Fiat didn t go for an aggressive feel when lifting of the It s just like driving any car. There s coasting you lift and there s a slow when you come off the brakes at a light. This is the only I don t like about the driving

I enjoy the heavy regen of EVs, but it s such a minor that I hesitated to mention it.

the drivetrain is awesome, the interior something to be desired. Because the is based on the $16,000 500, are cheap plastics, manual and only an armrest for the driver. s also about five inches of cargo space in the (not that there was to begin with) to accommodate of the battery, which means you ll have enough storage for groceries and a toy chihuahua. But Fiat an organizer of sorts in the boot to up for the lack of space and swathed the in an acceptable grade of leather.

And then there are the toys.

on the dash is a 500e-specific TomTom and while it tends to impede the s view, you can pop it off with ease if you re not in the nearest charging stations or your circle of range. A transistor display is mounted in the of the instrument cluster to keep on speed, range, power and other basic information. It t have leaves or green or gimmicky eco-conscious back-patting – it like it came out of a concept car and it s cool. As is the single-speed push-button selector that s a dead-ringer for the in modern Aston Martins.

Fiat 500e Electric Cars


Here s where gets to take my money.

And s a novel idea every should adopt for their own on the center of the dash is an LED charge that you can see from 50 feet In the daylight. With sunglasses on.

there s the smartphone app that you to keep tabs on battery set charging times, unlock the pre-heat or cool the interior and the and honk the horn – especially fun to people checking out the flashy paint and white interior the record, I m opting for the dark exterior with orange and more subtle black

So what s the downside? First, the is only available in California. it s basically double the cost of the 500 at $32,500.

But here s where gets to take my money.

For a lease, I put $995 down and pay a month. If you price out a similarly 500 Pop model, that s the same price . That s right. has managed to lease the 500e for the payment as its gasoline counterpart – is probably one of the reasons they re to be losing around $10,000 a on each 500e they

Fiat s loss, my gain, s my credit report.

And just to the deal, they ve partnered Enterprise to give you 12 free rentals a year for those you need to drive further (or something) that the 500e can t Oh, and they ll roll in the $1,995 of the charger and installation into the price.

So what Fiat s done is an affordable, barely compromised, EV that not only gives an electric car with character, it s so inexpensive you d be a fool for not putting it at the top of EV short list. And it s a short to begin with.

Sales are to begin in May. The line behind me.

Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars
Fiat 500e Electric Cars

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