Fiat 500 electric range, battery & charging
There are two batteries to choose from, with the larger 42kWh model beating both the Honda e and MINI Electric for driving range
|Battery size||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|24kWh||115 miles||2hrs 30mins (0-100%, 11kW)||30mins (10-80%, 50kW)|
|42kWh||199 miles||4hrs 15mins (0-100%, 11kW)||35mins (10-80%, 85kW)|
The big draw of the new Fiat 500 is its price; the entry-level version comes in at under £20,000, making this one of the cheapest electric cars you can buy. However, for that you have to make do with the smaller 24kWh battery – resulting in a range of just 115 miles according to official testing.
We’d recommend stepping up to one of the mid-range specs, as doing so gets you the larger 42kWh battery. These models return between 186 and 199 miles on a charge, or between 150 and 160 miles in more representative real-world driving.
Even if your commute is less than 10 miles each way, you’ll soon discover the benefits of having to charge less frequently, while the added standard equipment on the flashier specs make the Fiat 500 a much more pleasant car to live with.
Fiat 500 electric range
Fiat offers two batteries for the new 500. Entry-level Action cars get a small 24kWh battery, which the maker says will return just 115 miles from a charge. While we’ve not yet had a chance to try this version, it’s likely a real-world range of less than 100 miles is more realistic. Note that this version has a maximum charging speed of 50kW, too.
Avoid that basic Action model and you’ll benefit from the more user-friendly 42kWh battery, as well as 85kW charging capability. Fiat says the higher-end versions will do between 186 and 199 miles depending on specification and wheel size, although our experience with the car would suggest 150 to 160 miles is what's realistically achievable.
Every model comes with a Mode 2 charging cable, which makes it easy to top up at home overnight. Frustratingly, Fiat doesn’t publish charge times for the most popular 7kW wallboxes, but says those with faster three-phase 11kW electricity can recharge to full in four hours and 15 minutes. Given a three-pin plug takes a little over 15 hours to do the job, we can assume those with a 7kW setup could do the same job in eight or nine hours.
But every 500 also comes with at least 50kW rapid-charging capability – matching the MINI Electric in this regard. The entry-level Fiat with its smaller battery will recharge from 10-80% (around 90 miles) in 30 minutes. Go for one of the bigger-battery cars, and while they offer substantially more range, the faster on-board charger means they’ll get from 10-80% charge (around 160 miles) in 35 minutes.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe iconic Fiat 500 city car has gone electric-only in its latest incarnation – and it’s better than its petrol predecessor in every way
- 2Range, battery & charging - currently readingThere are two batteries to choose from, with the larger 42kWh model beating both the Honda e and MINI Electric for driving range
- 3Running costsLow prices and zero-emission running make the electric 500 an incredibly cheap car to run – for private buyers and company-car drivers alike
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceEasy, quick and and comfortable, the latest Fiat 500 ticks a lot of boxes. It’s more adept at motorway driving than you might imagine, too
- 5Interior & comfortMid-range electric Fiat 500s come with a good list of standard equipment, and while there are some cheaper materials in some areas, on the whole the electric hatchback feels well built
- 6Practicality & boot spacePoor practicality is the Fiat 500’s biggest downfall, due to its cramped rear seats and tiny boot, whichever model you go for
- 7Reliability & safetyAs this is Fiat’s first pure-electric model, it’s hard to comment on the latest 500’s reliability