Fiat Goes Electric

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 car on display but 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 and presumably details would be forthcoming.

Officially named the Fiat 500E, Fiat’s electric car was originally said to be available “in late 2012” but automotive pundits are stating that 2013 is more likely. We asked a sales advisor at our favorite Fiat dealer, Holt FIAT of Fort Worth, and he suggested this was a reasonable assumption.

One thing we do know for sure is that the Fiat 500E will be shown to the general public for the first time at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show (starting Nov. 30, 2012) and quite a few more salient details will be released at that time.

As far as technology details are concerned, we are told that Chrysler is largely the force behind the 500E’s electric running gear. This makes perfect sense as it would seem rather than install an all-electric drivetrain into a small Chrysler car, say a Dodge Dart, the Fiat 500 chassis would seem more natural. First the Fiat 500 presents a small, much lighter form factor and frankly, having an electric Fiat would be good for Fiat public relations. As far as specifications are concerned, Chrysler is saying the juice will be provided by a lithium-ion battery pack and the electric motor would be in the 100hp range.

Pricing has yet to be determined but competitive forces would likely put the 500E 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. In the meantime if you live in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, stop by and view the new FIATS a Holt FIAT of Ft Worth.

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