Fiat’s first electric car will be available to lease or buy for the same price as current combustion models, when it goes on sale later this year.
Sadly, the new 500e, based on the 500 city car, will only be available in the US, initially in just one state too-California.
That’s because tightening Californian emission control legislation is driving carmakers to launch electric cars to appease the State. The 500e will join other limited production EVs such as the Honda Fit EV and Chevrolet Spark EV, in part launched to meet this legislation.
Despite the low production levels, the Italian carmaker has gone out of its way to ensure that the 500e is still priced to go.
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While the model will initially be priced from $32,500 (about £21,242), eligible California residents may be able to purchase the 500e for as low as $20,500 (£13,399) after federal credits, state incentives and FIAT rebates are included-that’s about $200 less than the starting price of a comparably-equipped Fiat 500 Lounge with a petrol engine.
For customers who want to lease the car, a popular option in the US, the new electric city car will be available for just $199 a month (around £130) with a $999 deposit and 36 month contract-the same price as a current petrol-powered 500 Pop.
“With unique Italian style, industry-best highway MPGe rating and class-leading combined driving range, we know we have a great car in our hands,” said Tim Kuniskis Head of FIAT Brand North America. “Now our task is to simplify the customer’s experience and make sure that people know how easy and affordable it can be to own our electric Cinquecento.”
The new 500e, fitted with a liquid cooled 24kWh lithium-ion battery is capable of a a driving range of 87 miles per charge and is rated as achieving energy economy of 108MPGe, according to US Environmental Protection Agency figures.
With a 111 bhp (83 kW) electric motor, driving the front wheels, the car is capable of a top speed of 85 mph. Recharging takes less than 4 hours using a 240 volt, Level 2 charger.
Customers for Fiat’s first electric car need not worry about limited driving range of their car as Fiat will enable buyers up to 12 days of alternate transportation each year for the first three years after the date of purchase, under the new Fiat 500e Pass Program.
By teaming with Enterprise Car Rental, Fiat will give customers access to combustion vehicles such as the petrol-powered 500, a new 500L, a Dodge Dart or a Chrysler 200 saloon or even upgrade to a larger vehicle such as a minivan or a pickup truck.
Deliveries of the 500e are expected to start in California this summer.