The electric Fiat 500 is not related to the regular petrol 500 that has been on our roads since 2007. First of all, it is 60 mm longer and has the same dimensions in width
Image: HANDOUT ENGINE PR)
dacia will likely bring its Spring electric car to the UK. I put thumbscrews on a Dacia speaker at the recent launch of the Jogger seven-seater – and while it manfully didn’t snap under torture, his body language indicated it did.
I hope so, because with Dacia’s fantastic pricing structure, it’s going to be very affordable.
Most European countries have far more generous EV grants than we do, but even then Spring could cost under £15,000.
I mention it because we’re testing that this week fiat 500 which, in the spec we drive, is currently the cheapest electric car you can buy in the UK.
It is equipped with a 24 kWh battery. If you’re familiar with this EV malarkey, you know that a 24kWh battery won’t give you much range. The official number for the car is 115 miles. Fine if you use it for city driving and cross-country driving, but enormous patience and a lot of free time are required if you want to use it to cross the country.
HANDOUT ENGINE PR)
Please name the price. With the PICG stripped, our Action trim level 500 with no options costs £22,335. The next cheapest EVs are MG’s ZS crossover and MG5 station wagon, and Renault’s Zoe. All of these are around 27 grand but have significantly longer ranges. You can also buy a Fiat 500 with a 42kWh battery that offers a range of just under 200 miles, but this car is similarly priced to the Zoe and MG models.
The electric Fiat 500 isn’t related to the regular petrol 500 that’s been on our roads since 2007 (we’ve owned two of them, first a hatchback and second a convertible). For starters, it’s 60mm longer and has the same measurements in added width.
It’s still a daddy car, though. A little more spacious in the back than the petrol engines, but still more suitable for children than for adults.
Size matters, or the lack thereof. We live on a row house street and parking is a nightmare. But with a car as short as the 500, you can often squeeze into a space where others can’t. If we’re forced into an electric vehicle, a small one will be the Goodwin family’s choice.
It’s surprising how quickly the kilometers can converge even in the city. The real-world range of the smaller Battery 500 is less than 100 miles, and I didn’t have to walk around too much to need a charge.
HANDOUT ENGINE PR)
The 24kWh model features 50kW fast charging versus 85kW for the 42kWh version. Even with the lower capacity, a 10-80% charge takes about 30 minutes.
It wasn’t quite as quick for me, and there was also a delay when I set off to find the owner of a diesel BMW parked at the gas station’s only fast charger. As it turned out, he was the site foreman for the construction work across the forecourt, installing fast charging points. Priceless.
The 500 in Action trim is the most basic and the only trim level with this built-in battery. There’s no in-dash infotainment screen, but you do have a mount for your smartphone, which then handles all your music and navigation needs.
I could live with that simplicity, even with the crude heater knobs with a dim display making it hard to tell if you’ve set it for hot or cold (there’s air conditioning in action but no climate controls).
HANDOUT ENGINE PR)
With a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 9.5 seconds, the electric 500 feels faster than the petrol. It looks cute and is fun to drive. Interior plastics are a bit cheap, but then this is an affordable car for many.
Would I buy this budget model and could I live with its range?
In a word, no, I would pay more and go for the 500, which can handle almost 200 miles.
You never know when you’re going to have to take a long trip, and a range under 100 miles would be a real pain.
Fiat 500 promotion
Engine: Single electric motor, 24kWh battery, 93hp
0-62mph: 9.5 seconds
Range: 115 miles
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring/car-reviews/fiat-500-action-review-electric-26370532 Fiat 500 Action Review: Electric car is the cheapest option right now - Colin Goodwin