New Fiat 500 and 500C electric cars: price, specs and release date
- Electric-only city car
- Rounded retro styling
- Minimalist interior
- New infotainment tech
- 42kWh battery
- 199-mile range
- 118hp electric motor
- La Prima first edition models on sale
- Cost from £27,000
This is the new Fiat 500. At a glance it looks almost identical to the outgoing car, but underneath that cutesy retro body sits an all-new electric alternative to the likes of the Honda E, Mini Electric and Peugeot e-208.
New Fiat 500 electric car design
It’s difficult to make a retro-styled car, such as the Fiat 500, look modern. So, rather than add a bunch of fiddly details, Fiat’s gone back to basics for the new 500 and made it look smoother, more rounded and even more minimalist than before.
For starters, the old car’s headlights have been ditched in favour of two semi-circular lamps with a curved daytime-running lights that shine out through the bonnet.
The flush door handles and hidden indicators are pretty much the only difference you’ll spot from the side, and the lack of an exhaust pipe is a dead giveaway that you’re looking at the new car from behind.
Just like the old car, you’ll be able to get the new Fiat 500 as a 500C convertible. Fiat claims it’s the first purely electric four-seater convertible ever. It’s a bit more expensive than the hard-top model but comes with all the same kit.
Fiat is only offering La Prima first edition models at the moment with 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim and special paint colours. Later, some cheaper toned-down versions will go on sale, too.
New Fiat 500 electric car interior
OK, so the new Fiat 500 looks pretty similar to the old car on the outside, but it’s a totally different story inside. There’s a brand-new seven-inch digital dial display instead of traditional dials, and you get a big 10-inch touchscreen on the dashboard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring.
The physical controls for the heating and air conditioning are grouped together under the central touchscreen and there’s a storage tray where you’d find a gear lever in a petrol- or diesel-powered car.
One of the best things about the old Fiat 500 was how easy it was to personalise. Fiat’s determined to make this new car just as customisable and has roped in fashion designers Bvlgari, Kartell and Armani to make their own unique 500s. Sure, you won’t be able to get these exact upgrades on your own 500 – they’re just their to get your creative juices flowing…
New Fiat 500 electric car batteries and range
The new Fiat 500 comes with a 42kWh battery that gives it a 199-mile range. You can recharge your 500 using a 3kW wall box, but that’ll take all night – literally. You’ll be better off getting the optional 7.4kW wall box that’ll fully charge its batteries in a little over six hours.
The quickest way to charge the new Fiat 500 is using an 85kW public fast charger. These can top it up from empty to 80% charged in 35 minutes, and add a useful 30 miles of charge in just five minutes.
New Fiat 500 motors and driving
The Fiat 500 comes with a 118hp electric motor with enough poke to accelerate from 0-60mph in nine seconds. That doesn’t sound particularly fast but the new 500 will do 0-30mph in three seconds, which is nippy enough in town and faster than most small city cars.
Also handy in town is the new 500’s automatic emergency braking that’ll spot pedestrians and cyclists in your path and automatically apply the brakes if it thinks you’re about to hit them. There’s also adaptive cruise control that’ll accelerate and brake for you on motorways to keep you a safe distance from the car ahead.
There are three driving modes, Normal, Range and Sherpa. Range mode uses the motor to recharge the batteries when you brake to help boost the Fiat 500’s range, while Normal model tones down this ‘regenerative braking’ effect.
The Sherpa function limits the Fiat 500’s top speed to 50mph (down from 93mph) and turns off the air conditioning. These extreme measures will be useful in an emergency when you really need to eke out every last mile to reach a charging point.
New Fiat 500 electric price and release date
The only Fiat 500 you can buy now is a high-spec ‘La Prima’ model, which cost from £26,995 with the £3,000 government grant for electric cars applied. The 500C convertible model costs from £29,995. Get ready for more affordable, lower-spec cars to appear towards the end of 2020 and in 2021.
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