The race is on to build the best electric vehicle. While Toyota and Honda used to be the main competitors in ‘green’ vehicles, they have been joined by a number of other automakers ready to offer consumers a chance to drive a fuel efficient car from their brand. The latest to join the electric vehicle market is FIAT. They have already introduced their brand new FIAT 500e at auto shows, and are expected to ship the vehicle to dealerships by Spring of 2013.
The 500e is all electric, meaning it uses no gasoline. Charging of the battery can be done right at home, in about four hours. While some consumers might like the idea of having a gasoline engine as a back up to the electric mode, the 500e has its own advantage: it produces zero tailpipe emissions. The FIAT 500e will used a technology commonly found in hybrids regenerative braking. This feature converts vehicle energy to help charge the car’s lithium-ion battery. This special type of braking recovers some of the kinetic energy that would otherwise be wasted and converts it into more electrical energy. The HV Lithium-ion Battery that powers the 500e is covered by an 8-Year Limited Warranty. The HV Lithium-ion Battery includes Complete Lithium-ion Battery and Individual Lithium-ion battery components. The Electric Vehicle (EV) components are covered by a 4-Year Limited Warranty+. The EV components include the Motor, Power Inverter Module (PIM), Gearbox, Onboard charger, and Onboard Charger Connector.
We got some details on this future FIAT model when chatting with FIAT experts at Reedman FIAT of Langhorne PA. After hearing about the 500e we are most looking forward to what FIAT calls the ‘e-Sport Package’. This special 500e model comes with a black colored interior with Arancio Elettrico (Electric Orange) trim, Orange mirror caps, a body colored instrument panel bezel, unique e-Sport package side graphics, and dark tinted exterior light surrounds. It is sure to be not only a super green vehicle, but also a super-cool looking one.
The 500e also comes with an impressive new safety feature – an audible pedestrian warning system that uses distinctive sounds to help ensure the safety of other road users. The warning system is automatically activated when selecting Drive or Reverse. The warning stays in effect until the FIAT reaches over approximately 20 mph. This safety system uses an in-car sound synthesizer with a speaker located in the engine compartment and is sure to prevent pedestrian-vehicle accidents from happening.
The 500e model varies from the other 500 models with special exterior features that make it more aerodynamic, which helps increase overall efficiency. These include a front fascia that has been lowered, an aerodynamically-enhanced spoiler, and a diffuser that carries on from the underbody. Also included on the 500e are elements that reduce drag – special spoilers, side cladding and rear fascia. The cabin of the 500 is contemporary and includes an instrument cluster with a 7-Inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) and Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) display for improved lighting and location of features. The seat materials are of high quality, and are available in leatherette with cloth inserts. For entertainment purposes six high-performance speakers, 7-channel custom equalization, Series digital amplifier and SiriusXM Satellite Radio all come standard.