At the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, FIAT showed a mysterious concept car called the “FIAT 500 BEV”. Journalists were told this was a working title for the little car on display and the BEV suffix stood for Battery Electric Vehicle. There wasn’t much data released at the show so it appears that FIAT simply wanted to make the statement that “they too” were investing in the electric car concept. Journalists noted that electric drivetrain part was fantastic but the car’s utilitarian look needed a little help.
Well, fast forward two years and things have changed a little. Now officially named the Fiat 500E, Fiat has jazzed things up a little and the first FIAT 500Es will be shown to the public at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show starting Nov. 30, 2012. Pictured below in striking orange decor, the first 500Es will be available first in California. We visited our Arrigo Palm Beach FIAT dealer and they suggested that later in 2013 that they may be released to other FIAT dealers.
As far as technology details are concerned, we are told that Chrysler technology is behind the 500E’s electric running gear. This makes perfect sense as it would seem a natural to install an all-electric drivetrain into the FIAT 500 rather than a larger car, say a Dodge Dart. Not only does the FIAT 500 present a smaller, much lighter form factor, having an electric FIAT would frankly be good for FIAT US public relations.
Pricing has yet to be determined on the 500E but competitive forces would likely put in the $30K range as this would be less than the other electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf (retail $36,050), Ford Focus Electric (retail $39,900), and the Chevy Volt (retail $39,145). As previously stated, we should all know quite a bit more about the 500E as soon as the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show opens.