2014 FIAT 500e

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What's New for 2014:
  • The 500e is a carryover from 2013

Fiat entered the electric-car market with the 2013 debut of the 500e, which is essentially a plug-in version of the 4-passenger 500 hatchback. In lieu of a gasoline engine, the 2014 500e features an electric motor and battery pack. Competitors include the Chevrolet Spark EV, Mitsubishi i-Miev, Nissan Leaf, and the Smart Fortwo electric.

Models and Features
Selecting the appropriate 500e is an easy affair, as there is only one available trim level. As a result, all vehicles that roll off the assembly line are equipped with the same standard features, including heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, fog lights, automatic climate control, and a 7-in. gauge cluster display detailing driving range, battery charge, and more. The list of amenities also includes a 276-watt sound system with a USB port and satellite radio service, 4.3-inch touch-screen navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, and access to a smartphone app that will direct users to the closest charging station.

Additionally, the 500e offers a free rental car program that should help alleviate new owners' concerns about long-distance travel. The plan includes 12 days per year (for three years) and use of another one of the company's products, such as a Fiat 500L or Chrysler 200 sedan.

Options and Packages
Factory upgrades for the 2014 Fiat 500e are fairly limited, consisting primarily of a power tilt/slide moonroof, interior trim accents, and an e-Sport package featuring tinted headlight and taillight housings, unique exterior graphics, and 15-in. alloy wheels.

Under the Hood
As noted above, the front-wheel-drive Fiat 500e is an electric car featuring a single-speed gearbox, 24-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack, regenerative braking system, and an electric motor that delivers 111 horsepower and 147 lb.-ft. of torque instead of the gasoline engine and traditional transmissions found in its 500 and 500c counterparts. The company claims the 2014 500e has a top speed of 85 mph.

Fuel Economy
Since the 2014 Fiat 500e uses an electric powertrain, the usual fuel-economy estimates don't apply. Instead, the EPA offers miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) ratings in an effort to provide drivers with some perspective. The 500e is expected to achieve 122 MPGe in the city, 108 MPGe on the highway, and 116 MPGe combined.

Those figures are separate from the car's range--how far it can travel on a full charge under so-called normal operating conditions (these are affected by ambient air temperature, driving style, etc.). According to the EPA, Fiat's electric 500 hatchback can go more than 100 miles around town before needing to be plugged in. A full recharge requires between 4 hours when using a 240-volt outlet, or nearly 24 hours using a regular 120-volt household outlet.

Safety and Ratings
As this overview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has rated the crashworthiness of the 2014 Fiat 500e.

Among the 500e's standard safety features are 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist and electronic brake-force distribution, hill-start assist, 7 air bags, and rear park-assist sensors.


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