Fiat 500e 24 kWh test: why a small battery is good

Fiat 500e 24 kWh test: why a small battery is good

He who can do more can do less. But sometimes the least is enough if you properly assess your needs, especially mobility. For a car that is mostly used to travel to work, process errands and / or pick up children from school, choosing a small battery electric makes sense. At Fiat, the electric 500 is offered with two battery capacities. With the largest (usable 37.3 kWh), the Italian does not appear at less than EUR 31,700 before the bonus – which will drop from EUR 6,000 to EUR 5,000 on 1 July. But for a small 23.8 kWh the price drops to € 26,200, or from € 119 per month for long term rental terms. Given today’s fuel price, it’s worth thinking about, although we have to assume a short range for Fiat. According to our measurements, its battery is discharged after 175 km in the city (243 km with 37.3 kWh), 128 km on the road (versus 178 km) or only 90 km on the highway (instead of 150 km). Distances are further shortened in winter – batteries do not like cold – but also in summer through the generous use of air conditioning. However, for a car designed for short everyday journeys, this is enough if you can recharge at home and / or at work. All with a Liliputian budget for use, this five-hundred-meter with a small battery will settle for an average of 16 kWh, or 2.48 EUR per 100 km. This is better than the 37.3 kWh variant (21.75 kWh per 100 km, price 3.37 EUR)… not to mention the EUR 11.90 required by the 500 Hybrid with SP E10 for 1.95 EUR / liter.

Less powerful, no less fun

In addition to the smaller battery, the 500 electric also comes with a less powerful electric motor, 95 hp instead of 118 hp. But losses are minimal behind the wheel. First, because the available torque is the same (220 Nm). Then thanks to her much more reasonable weight of 1200 kg, when her big sister admits 1365 kg. Acceleration losses (+ 0.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h) and recovery (+ 0.7 seconds from 80 to 120 km / h) are barely noticeable and this 500 remains the playful city car that will quickly turn green and drive safely on the road. It is still the same pleasant chip, whose liveliness is valued in the city as well as on the road. Especially since, thanks to a more reasonable weight, it is more balanced at the limits of adhesion, knowing that the ESP anti-slip does not hesitate to intervene vigorously so that this Fiat with a very short wheelbase (2.32 m) does not find itself in a bad position. For the rest, this small battery variant remains an electric 500. that is,You have to get used to its powerful power steering, its sometimes lacking damping and also braking. In Normal mode, the latter lacks progressiveness and does not benefit from any regenerative braking. To have it, you must switch to Range or Sherpa (which maximizes autonomy but deactivates above 80 km / h). There you just need to lift your foot off the gas and sincerely slow down until the car stops. Except it’s hard to avoid shocks that can upset your passengers.

Small battery = faster charging

Fiat 500 Electric with 23.8 kWh batteries may be more affordable, but the presentation is nice.© Fiat

But that doesn’t stop you from living a nice Fiat, because much more modern than its thermal sisters, it displays a pleasant interior presentation and an acceptable driving position despite the absence of depth adjustment of the steering wheel. The rear seats are mainly for children and the trunk is not too big (150 dm³). In return, the city appreciates its small size (3.63 m) and good turning radius (9.7 m). AND when recharging, its small battery becomes an advantage, because on our 7.4 kWh socket, our return to 100% took only 3 hours and 30 minutes.

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