In-depth reviews

Fiat 500 review: range, battery & charging

While the smaller battery 500 is really only suitable for driving around town, the larger 42kWh version offers more range than many electric city car rivals

Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Range, battery & charging rating

3.5 out of 5

£26,435 - £34,195
Fuel Type:
Battery sizeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
24kWh118 miles2hrs 30mins (0-100%, 11kW)30mins (10-80%, 50kW)
42kWh199 miles4hrs 15mins (0-100%, 11kW)35mins (10-80%, 85kW)

The Fiat 500 is available with two battery sizes: 24kWh and 42kWh. The upside of the bigger unit is a 200-mile range (if you go for the right specification) and if your commute is less than 10 miles each way, you’ll soon discover the benefits of having to charge less frequently.

Fiat 500 electric range

Entry-level cars feature a 24kWh battery pack, which is smaller than the ones fitted to some larger plug-in hybrid cars like the Range Rover Sport PHEV. Fiat says this will offer a range of up to 118 miles but in our experience, 100 miles seems more realistic. This short range means the base 500 is really only suitable as a second car – or strictly for pottering around town.

Meanwhile, models fitted with the 42kWh battery will do between 186 and 199 miles on a charge depending on specification and wheel size, according to Fiat. Our time driving the car suggests 150 to 160 miles is what's realistically achievable, but that's still further than the MINI Electric or Honda e can cover on a single charge. 

In case you’re wondering, the Abarth 500e uses the 42kWh unit offered in the regular 500, but because of its sportier nature and more powerful motor range is reduced to 164 miles – although this figure will diminish rapidly if you intend to drive the Abarth like a real hot hatch.

Charge time

Every 500 electric comes with a Mode 2 charging cable, which makes it easy to top up at home overnight. Using a standard 7kW wallbox, a full charge of the 42kWh battery model will take around six hours, while those with faster three-phase 11kW electricity can do the same in four hours.

Every 500 also comes with at least 50kW rapid charging capability – matching the MINI Electric in this regard. The entry-level 500 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, a faster on-board charger means they don’t take much longer to charge, getting from 10-80% charge (around 160 miles) in 35 minutes.

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