She's electric!

The Fiat 500 charges upmarket and is now all-electric

The much loved Fiat 500 has been re-invented once again and this time she's electric.

Ginny Buckley

22 Sep 2022

Fiat’s 500 is going electric! The all-new model, which is due to go on sale in early 2021 will only be available with battery power as the petrol and diesel engines are pensioned off.

With its cute retro looks, affordability and economy, the Fiat 500 has become one of Britain’s best-selling small cars. The company has reinvented it to take on the new MINI Electric and Honda e with a 199-mile range, convertible roof and a price tag of £29,000.

That may seem a lot compared to the current 500 and even its electric rivals, but the first versions of the Fiat will only be available as a drop-top with a comparatively big 42kW battery. Compare that to the 145-mile range and 33kWh battery of the MINI or the 137 miles and 35kWh of the Honda and you’ll see Fiat has banked on customers wanting more miles.

The Fiat won’t be as nippy as its rivals though, with a 117bhp motor compared to the Honda’s 151bhp and the MINI’s 182bhp. It should still be plenty for in-town driving though and is comparable to the existing 500’s petrol engine.

When it comes to charging, the Fiat can use an 85kW DC rapid point to go from flat to 80% in around 35 minutes. A full charge from your home wallbox will take around six hours. 

To make the most of your precious electricity, the 500 has three drive modes, including an extreme ‘Sherpa’ setting which limits the top speed and turns off the heating to ensure maximum efficiency.

Fiat has wisely left the much-loved looks of the 500 largely unchanged, although it has clearly had a nip-and-tuck inside and out and is 60mm wider and longer than the old car. It has new tech to bring it up to date too, including a new twin-screen display and smartphone connectivity.

Dealers are accepting ‘pre-bookings’ for the car now, and it’s expected that the combustion-engined old car will continue to be sold alongside the new electric model until cheaper versions of the EV arrive. These will include a traditional hard-roofed hatch and models with smaller batteries.

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