> All-new car
> Pure EV model
> Fast charging can add 30 miles of range in 5 minutes
> Battery range from 115 - 199 miles
> Priced from £20,495
Design is a huge part of the Fiat 500’s appeal, electric or not. People buy the cute little city car for its characterful looks, and while considerably more modern than the combustion 500, this new EV remains distinctive. The modernisation of the trend first set in 2007 has seen the city car grow, but it retains those recognisable compact proportions.
Those traditional round headlights have been reinvented and now feature LEDs that overlap the bonnet line. Being an EV, there’s no need for a big grille, and so a substantial ‘500’ logo now sits front and centre. The overall shape has been made a bit more voluptuous with fuller shapes that appear more sculpted.
Buyers in mainland Europe have the option of a quirky, but ultimately more practical version of the new 500. A variant with a single rear-hinged rear door on the right-hand side of the EV is offered to boost ingress and egress. However, Fiat are still considering the ‘three door’ option for the UK at this point in time. For now you have the choice of the regular hatchback or soft-top cabrio body styles.
If you want to do your bit for charity as well as the planet with a new 500, maybe consider the (RED) trim level. The aim is to raise just shy of £3 million via a partnership with the charity created to fight against AIDS and COVID-19. This charity was actually co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. What’s different about these cars? Aside from a series of (RED) logos dotted around the place, all vehicles can be had in a distinctive red shade. Interior changes include Seaqual yarn seats and materials made from recycled plastics.
Just like the exterior, the interior has seen a dramatic redesign over the old car, and now incorporates flowing surfaces and more premium materials. The elliptical dashboard is familiar, but it is now framed by a glossy trim and incorporates a central cubby. There’s something chic and minimalist about the cabin, but there’s plenty of toys and tech that feature dependant on trim level.
Entry-level Action models get a 7-inch digital instrument cluster and a host of driver assists such as lane keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition, attention assist, as well as autonomous emergency braking. There’s no infotainment system here, but it does come with a cradle for your smartphone to be used as a substitute.
Passion cars step things up with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s also capable of pairing with your smartphone for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It’s also worth noting that Passion trim and above gets faster 85kW charging capabilities.
Icon trim adds a large 10.25-inch infotainment system with navigation and all of the aforementioned smartphone connectivity. You can also get a wearable key that works much the same as keyless entry fobs. One of the more interesting perks of Icon cars is the increased choice of interior finishes, including one that utilises Seaqual Yarn.
Top-dog La Prima models get all of the above, mesmerising LED ‘infinity’ lights, a glass panoramic roof and plush seats with the Fiat logo creating a pretty cool pattern.
Practicality was never – and still isn’t – the Fiat 500’s strong point. This compact City car can’t escape physics, and even being a little bigger than before, rear passenger space is still a bit cramped. The two rear seats will be fine for young children, but adults won’t be all that comfy thanks to restricted leg room.
Boot space is also far from generous with 185-litres only really being enough for a couple of bags. It’s only just larger than what you’d find in a Honda E, and falls short of the 211-litres the Mini Electric offers. However, there is some underfloor storage to make use of. The Cabrio doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of space, but its letterbox style opening can be restrictive when loading larger items.
What tech live under the skin of your Fiat 500 Electric will depend upon which trim level you opt for. Going up trims will result in better range, faster charging times and more powerful electric motors.
Entry-level Action cars are powered by a 94bhp electric motor and a 23.8kWh battery. It can charge at up to 50kW, meaning that a 10-80% charge will take just 30 minutes. This 500’s range is officially quoted as being 115 miles.
Every other trim comes standard with a larger 42kWh battery that grants a range of up to 199 miles – notably more than the Fiat’s chief rivals. Charging from a household three-pin plug will take 15 hours, or if you have access to an 11kW wallbox that shrinks to just over four hours. Take advantage of the 85kW fast charging capabilities and you’ll get from 10-80% charge in 35 minutes. These cars also have their total power boosted to 117bhp.
You can order your Fiat 500 Electric later this year with prices for the entry-level Action car starting from £20,495. Better equipped, faster charging and more powerful Passion models will set you back £23,995. Want that massive touchscreen? Icon variants are £25,495 while top-spec starts at £27,495. All prices include the government electric car grant of £2,500.
If you’re after a (RED) model, prices start at £22,995 for the 24kW car and rise to £28,645 for a 42kW convertible.