Published on April 4th, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown
Fiat To Address Range Anxiety With Rental Car
Fiat has decided to address the battery range anxiety issue by offering the Fiat 500e electric vehicle with access to a second car. They will offer access to the second car for free from Enterprise for 12 days per year, for the first three years of 500e ownership as part of its ePass program.
The Fiat 500e has a range of 87 miles, which is 14 miles greater than that of the 2012 Nissan Leaf. “We know we’ve got a great car,” Fiat’s North American brand chief, Tom Kuniskis, told Automotive News. “But I still can’t get a guy to New York to visit his grandma for Easter.”
He also said that the 500e is advertised as a viable alternative to the ordinary 500, and that, therefore, it needs to be able to travel as far as the owners want it to. The 500e is supposed to arrive in the California market this summer. For now, the program will be offered at all of the 25 California dealerships that the 500e vehicle will be at.
There are other ways to address EV range anxiety, and one is the use of ubiquitous resonant induction chargers placed in parking spaces, so that peoples’ cars automatically charge wherever they park. Tesla is building a nationwide network of fast-charging “Superchargers” for the Tesla Model S, although few people can afford the $62,500 (before tax credits) electric sedan. It would be helpful if charging stations were embedded in parking spaces so that peoples’ cars would automatically charge while shopping at a supermarket, theatre, office, and the like, but EVs are still incapable of traveling long distances in a short amount of time.
This rental scheme could help alleviate some of the range anxiety that comes with owning an electric car; however, the ultimate goal is a 500+ mile electric vehicle that can be fully recharged in just a few hours. That is still likely a ways off though. For now, rental cars might be the way to go.
Source: Automotive News
Follow me on Twitter: @Kompulsa.