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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fiat 500e: Italian Style for Electric Car Buyers!

Fiat 500e

Fiat 500e: Retro-Futuristic
  • More than 80 miles of estimated range, with city driving range typically greater than 100 miles.
  • An estimated 116 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city and 100 MPGe highway battery-only electric power and zero emissions from a single charge.
  • 111 horsepower (83 kW) /147 lb.-ft. (200 N•m) torque electric-drive motor.
  • Less than 4 hour charge time with Level 2 (240 volt) on-board charging module (OBCM)
  • 24 kWh hour liquid-cooled/heated 97 cell lithium-ion battery pack.
  • Power inverter module (PIM) for DC-to-AC and DC-to-DC.
  • Push-button e-shift transmission.
  • Unique “creep” feature mirrors conventional powertrains.
  • Regenerative brake system featuring larger vented front discs.
  • Redesigned 10% stiffer body structure
  • Staggered wheel widths for added stability and nimbler handling: front 15x5.5 /rear 15x6.5.
  • Revised front-to-rear weight distribution (57/43 compared to Fiat 500’s 64/36) improves handling performance.
  • Improved Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) package includes many refinements like new acoustic windshield glass and new gaskets between the mirror flag and door reduce interior noise levels.

The new 2013 Fiat 500e brings Italian flair and fun to drive characteristics to the typically dull and appliance like electric car segment. The Fiat 500e is easily the most attractive affordable electric car on the market today.

Fiat 500e

The new Fiat 500e electric vehicle has been in the works for some time. I first ran the story of the 500e back in January 2010. At the time, the car was called the 500EV and almost seemed like an afterthought, however the car debuting today turns out to be anything but. The car has been developed and engineered by Chrysler in Auburn Hills, and benefits from a long lead time and extensive aerodynamic refinements resulting in a 13% improvement in the coefficient of drag (Cd) over the conventional Fiat 500. Over 140 hours of wind tunnel testing enables the 2013 Fiat 500e to achieve a 0.311 Cd compared to a 500 Lounge model's 0.359 Cd. In the real world, all this work translates into an additional 5 miles of range.

The main areas Fiat engineers concentrated on were:
  • Front fascia sealing
  • Aerodynamically optimized front fascia design
  • Flush profile 15 inch aluminum wheels
  • Streamlined exterior mirror caps
  • Under vehicle belly pans
  • Refined side sills
  • Drag reducing rear fascia design
  • Optimizing the liftgate mounted spoiler

Outwardly, the Fiat 500 E is distinguished from the regular Fiat 500 by a unique front and rear fascia and side skirts. These fascias incorporate a dot-matrix design Fiat says was inspired from 1960s Italian furniture and print designs. Those design elements, along with Electrico Arancione (Electric Orange)accents, gives the 500e a surprisingly futuristic yet retro look, if that makes sense. The 500E logos displayed on all four corners are a nice touch.

There are three exterior themes available: Nero, Bianco Perla and the e-Sport package:

Nero (black) dot-matrix with body colored mirror caps and spoiler. This is combined with Argento (silver), Grigio (gray), Bianco Perla (pearl white) and Nero exterior paints. Interior is in Nero.

Bianco Perla
Dot-matrix, mirror caps and spoiler are in Bianco Perla. Erterior colors are Argento, Grigio, Bianco Perla, Nero and exclusive Electrico Arancione Perla. A Steam (white) interior is used.

The interior of the Fiat 500e is bright and airy and continues with the retro/futuristic look. The combination leatherette and cloth trim is in Cream or Nero with more Electrico Arancione (Electric Orange) accents on the seats and steering wheel. An all new 7 inch thin-film transistor display uses full-color graphics to report driving range and state of charge, along with other important functions.

e-Sport Package
The 2013 Fiat 500e offers an attractive sport package I predict will find its way onto conventional Fiat 500s because it looks that good. This may be the first time an enthusiast would want their car to resemble an EV!

The e-Sport package consists of Nero dot-matrix front and rear valances along with blacked out headlights, parking and tailights. Electric Orange striping and trim and black painted alloys gives this special 500e a look like no other electric car has.

Expect to see the new 2013 Fiat 500e in California Fiat Studios in the second half of 2013!

All-new 2013 FIAT 500e
SPECIFICATIONS (preliminary)
Dimensions are in inches (millimeters) unless otherwise noted.
Vehicle Type: A-segment hatchback
EPA Vehicle Class: Mini-compact
Assembly Plant: Toluca, Mexico
Introduction Date: Spring 2013 as a 2013 model

Layout: Front-wheel drive
Construction: Unitized steel body

Availability: Standard — 500e
Type and Description: Permanent magnetic electric traction with electric-parking pawl
Power (SAE)
111 bhp (83 kW)
Torque (SAE)
147 lb.-ft. (200 N•m)
Max. Speed (estimated): 85 mph (137 kph)
Fuel Economy Label (estimated)
City: Greater than 116 MPGe (186 KPGe)
Highway: Greater than 100 MPGe (160 KPGe)
Combined: Greater than 108 MPGe (173 KPGe)
Driving Range (estimated)
City, typical: More than 100 miles (160 km)
Combined, Label: More than 80 miles (128 km)
Emissions: Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV)

Availability: Standard — 500e
Type and Description: 24 kilowatt-hours (kWh) capacity with 97 lithium-ion cells, 364 volts
Thermal Management System: 4 mode: thermal equalization, passive cooling, active cooling and active heating
On-board Charging Module (OBCM): AC to DC transformation with Level 1 or Level 2 charging
Estimated Charge Time
Level 1 (120V): less than 24 hours
Level 2 (240V): less than 4 hours
Power Inverter Module: DC-to-AC and DC-to-DC
Connector: SAE J1772

Availability: Standard — 500e
Type and Description: Brazed-aluminum radiators, aluminum condenser and cooling fan

Availability: Standard on 500e
Gear Ratios
Final-drive Ratio
Battery: 12 volt, 500 CCA, maintenance free
Front: MacPherson suspension, coil spring with twin-tube struts and stabilizer bar
Rear: Rear twist-beam axle with coil springs and twin-tube shock absorbers
Type: Rack and pinion with electric power steering (EPS) column
Overall Ratio: 16.3:1
Turning Diameter (curb-to-curb): 31.3 feet (9.54 m)
Steering Turns (lock-to-lock): 3.0
Availability: Standard on 500e
Rotor size and type: 11.0 x 0.87 (284 x 22) vented with regenerative braking
Caliper size and type: 2.13 (54) single-piston with aluminum housing
Swept area: 218 sq. in (1410 sq. cm)
Rotor size and type: 9.4 x 0.4 (251 x 11) solid with regenerative braking
Caliper size and type: 1.50 (38) single-piston with aluminum housing
Swept area: 162 sq. in (1048 sq. cm)

Wheelbase: 90.6 (2,300)
Track, Front: 55.4 (1,407)
Track, Rear: 55.0 (1,397)
Overall Length: 142.4 (3,617)
Overall Width: 64.1 (1,627)
Overall Height: 60.1 (1,527)
Ground Clearance: 4.5 (115)
Drag Coefficient (Cd): 0.311
Curb Weight, lb. (kg): 2,980 (1,355)
Weight Distribution, percent Front/Rear: 57 / 43
(d) All dimensions measured at curb weight with standard tires.

Seating Capacity, F/R: 2/2
Front Seat
Head room: 38.9 (989) 37.6 (956) with sunroof
Legroom: 40.7 (1,035)
Shoulder room: 49.4 (1,255)
Hip room: 47.8 (1215)
Total seat travel: Driver — 8.2 (210) Passenger — 8.2 (210)
EPA front row interior volume: 45.3 cu. ft. (1.282 cu. m)
Rear Seat
Head room: 35.5 (903)
Legroom: 27.6 (702)
Shoulder room: 46.4 (1,179)
Hip room: 42.6 (1,083)
EPA second row interior volume: 26.3 cu. ft. (0.745 cu. m)
Total Interior Volume: 71.6 cu. ft. (2.027 cu. m)
EPA Luggage Compartment Volume: 7.0 cu. ft. (0.199 cu. m)
EPA Interior Volume Index: 78.6 cu. ft. (2.226 cu. m)
Trunk Liftover Height: 28.1 (715)
Availability: Standard on 500e
Size and type: 185/55R15 BSW All-season
Mfr. and model: Firestone Firehawk GTH
Revs per mile (km): 906 (563)
Availability: Standard on 500e
Type and material: Cast-aluminum, five-hole design, painted Argento (silver) with Nero (black) accented inserts
Size: 15 x 5.5 (front) and 15 x 6.5 (rear

Source: Fiat USA

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