Visitors of the Geneva International Motor Show will get a chance to see the European première of the 500e, the small zero-emissions electric car recently presented at the Los Angeles Motor Show, which will be available for purchase solely in the United States from the second quarter of 2013.
Together with the brand new 500 GQ and 500S versions on show in Geneva, the 500 continues to raise eyebrows for its ability to reinvent itself relentlessly. The new zero-emissions city-car emphasises how the Fiat brand is able to respond to the need to reduce CO2 emissions, whatever the market or government policy.
Unique style harnessed for efficiency
Designing cars which are compact on the outside and large on the inside, with an empathetic, eco-compatible design yet which are still fun to drive: this is the 'Simply More' styling and design approach implemented by the Fiat brand. The same approach applied to the new 500e, projecting its Italian design into the future, through a silhouette modelled in the wind tunnel and futuristic retro references with a spotted matrix for a look at the very cutting edge. To achieve an aerodynamic improvement of 13%, the Fiat 500e offers eight exterior refinements and over 140 hours of testing and honing in the wind tunnel.
Inside, the 500e 2013 merges a futuristic retro design with the unique features of Electric Vehicle technology, making for a simple yet innovative interior. A new 7" TFT digital display embellishes the instrument panel where, thanks to clear and accurate colour graphics, all the vehicle functions are displayed, along with the battery charge levels and the trip summary. In addition, a new TomTom navigation system allows the driver to see the vehicle charge programme, the capacity and energy flow measurements, and he or she can even find the nearest recharging stations in real time.
Under the dashboard panel, the Fiat 500e 2013 features a new easy-to-use electronic gearbox with a drive selector push-button. And for an additional touch of style, the passenger compartment is available in black or white, all underscored by bright elettrico orange features which further accentuate the distinctive personality of this particular 500.
Designed to be an Electric Vehicle without compromise, the Fiat 500e 2013 relies on the winning formula of offering a compact car - a characteristic trait of the 500 - adding a new electric battery-powered engine which develops a horsepower of 111 (83 kW) and which is recharged in under 4 hours thanks to the 240 V level-2 (OBCM) on-board charging module.
The EPA - the US Environmental Protection Agency - has valued the performance in the extra-urban cycle of the new Fiat 500e: the result is 108 MPGe, a value yet unbeaten by any electric vehicle on the US market. In detail, the MPGe is the measurement unit developed by the EPA to determine how many miles an electric vehicle can cover with a quantity of electricity generated by a battery, with the same energy content as a gallon of petrol.
The tests carried out by the EPA showed that, on a full charge, the Fiat 500e has a range of approximately 140 km, the best value among all electric vehicles on the US market produced by the major car manufacturers.
In addition, the Agency estimated the annual cost to power it to be in the region of 500 Dollars. This estimate was calculated by forecasting the price of electricity during a mileage of over 24,000 km with the performance specifications on the combined urban/extra-urban cycle of the car. The Fiat 500e boasts an index of 116 MPGe on the urban/extra-urban cycle and 122 MPGe on the urban cycle. Lastly, the EPA tests report the car's energy consumption to be just 29 kW/hour for 100 miles.
Passengers can access information about the Fiat 500e using a new smartphone application, compatible with iPhone and Android, which shows the condition of the car in real time, managing the battery charge levels, recording the energy consumption, locating the car and the nearest battery recharging stations, planning and sending routes for the vehicle and sending text message warnings and notifications.
Lastly, to make sure the new Fiat 500e 2013 offers first-class manoeuvrability and braking capacity, the engineers devised a new chassis and suspension for the electric motor, consolidating the outstanding European driving dynamics for which Fiat and the 500 model are known the world over.
Custom-made technology for all the needs of the international markets
Where growing awareness of environmental issues brings together consumers and governments from the various continents, customer requirements differ considerably due to national culture and policy. This is the reason for the unique alliance between the Fiat and Chrysler groups for the joint development of innovative programmes which satisfy a sustainable custom-made mobility in the various markets in which both groups operate.
For this reason, Chrysler is the centre of expertise for electrifying cars for both Groups, with special focus on marketing these products in the United States where this technology is now consolidated. In Europe, on the other hand, Fiat Group Automobiles pursues the containment of polluting emissions and of the level of CO2 by developing its own technologies (TwinAir, MultiAir and MultiJet II) applied to its petrol and diesel engines, in addition to the distribution of alternative power supplies using methane gas and LPG, which are concrete solutions within everyone's reach and now available for all.