The Fiat New 500’s official range of 203 miles from a 42kWh battery (usable of around 38kWh) is really impressive, and is much better than the circa-130 mile range you get in the MINI Electric and Honda e, and even than the 160-miles from the VW e-Up. In Sherpa mode (which switches off air-con and limits power and top-speed, as well as triggering one-pedal driving mode) Fiat reckons that range can be stretched to over 280 miles. That’d only be in exceptional circumstances, though, we’d bet on a real-world range of around 160-170 miles in normal use. For those opting for the cheaper 24kWh battery fitted to the cheapest models, the range falls to 118 miles.
At 42kWh, the Fiat’s lithium-ion battery is sourced from Samsung and strikes a happy medium between rivals like the Honda e and the Peugeot e-208 or Corsa-e, the latter of which manage much the same range as the Fiat despite a 50kWh battery. Put that down to the smaller Fiat’s fairly lightweight 1330kg, which helps it achieve efficiency of 5.2miles per kWh. Fiat also offers a smaller 24kWh pack for drivers who don't need the larger range.
Fiat offers a battery warranty of eight years and 100,000 miles, with a promise to refurbish or replace the battery if drops below 70% of its as-new performance.
The 42kWh pack can be recharged at speeds of up 85kW, which translates to a 20-80% top-up of around 30 minutes, or some 25 to 30 miles every 5 minutes. However, you’ll need to find an ultra-rapid CCS charger of 100kW or more to benefit from these speeds and most motorway chargers in the UK are 50kW, which will do the same top-up in under an hour.
Plug into a 7kW home wallbox and the Fiat’s battery will be fully charged in just over six hours, or it’ll charge at up to 11kW (for a 4hr charge) if you can find a powerful enough charger.
Cables are provided for plugging into those Type 2 chargers, which include the home wallboxes that most owners will do their routine charging at, as well as for plugging into a normal three-pin domestic socket. Given that this will take over 14 hours for a full charge, it should be considered a backup charging method but is still useful to have.
If you opt for the entry-level 24kWh model (which has a maximum charge rate of 50kW), expect to get an 80% charge in around 26 minutes on a rapid charger. A full charge on a 7kW home charger will take around 4 hours while a domestic three pin will charge your 500 in just over 12 hours.
The cables supplied with the New 500 are an unusually long 6-metres, which is very useful given the sometimes erratic placement of public charge points. Bravo Fiat!