Fiat’s Compliant 500e EV

In, Beautiful Fiat 500e Electric Car Gets Best-in-Class 116 MPGe Rating from EPA, Treehugger trumpets the new EV version of the urban-friendly Fiat 500:

The Fiat 500e electric car, which debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show a few months ago, and which will no doubt be prominently featured by Chrysler at the Detroit Auto Show next week, has just received its official EPA efficiency ratings. It looks like the Fiat/Chrysler engineers did a good job because with 122 MPGe city, 108 MPGe highway, and 116 MPGe combined, it beats all other small electric cars that have been rated so far except for the 2013 Scion iQ EV in the City and Combined ratings (the Scion gets 138 and 105 MPGe respectively), but the iQ only has a 38-mile driving range, so it’s not entirely comparable.

The EPA has rated the electric driving range of the 2013 Fiat 500e at 87 miles, which is actually more than the Nissan LEAF (73 miles), the Honda Fit EV (82 miles), the Mitsubishi i (62 miles), and the Daimler Smart ED (68 miles).

At last year’s DC Auto Show, a nice young lady drove a conventionally-fueled 500 slowly around Fiat’s indoor track and tried to sell me on how connective the car was to all sorts of devices. “Everything’s better with Bluetooth,” I thought. I like the looks, the battery is liquid-cooled and if I only drove around in the city, the 500e would be worth considering. But as noted in a December 2012 gizmag review, the 500e probably won’t be sold in older cities where it might be popular:

The 2013 500e will hit the Californian market in the second quarter of next year. Fiat has admitted to the media in the past that it really didn’t want to build the car but did so to meet California’s zero emissions vehicle mandate. So it only plans to sell the model in the Golden State upon launch and will be loath to expand that availability since it anticipates losing money on every model sold.

Commenters complain about these compliance cars as the automotive equivalent of vaporware. With all its faults, the Leaf is at least for sale in most states.

Fiat is scheduled to run their indoor track again at this year’s DC Auto Show, so I wonder if they’ll be showing the 500e.

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