LA Auto Show: Fiat 500E Debuts To Combat Global Warming, Start Global…Hotness?

Fiat 500e, so cute you just want to pinch her cheeks. Photo courtesy Katherine Tessier

Once again bringing overpowering sex appeal to the LA Auto Show as only Italians can, Fiat delivered some very steamy videos to promote their latest offerings. The 500c Cabriolet video was especially thrilling and tastefully done. The 500E video was charming, but between the woman being in the passenger seat, and the overdose of analogies to Viagra by the announcer, it could’ve been better. Yes, you want to make a sexy electric car. We get that. But Tesla and Fisker have already been doing so for years now.

On the other hand, the Fiat 500E is a sexy affordable electric car (granted, pricing hasn’t been announced yet). If you ask me, the 500E  is cute, well dressed, and rides like a real champ, but I’d hardly call any Fiat 500 “sexy”. Even having had the most fun I’ve had on 4 wheels in the one I rented in England.

Sure, I’d take her for a romp again, but I wouldn’t necessarily be showing her off to all my friends. She’s that nice, practical girl next door with a lot of baggage from her tortured past (Fix It Again, Tony!) who’s desperate to be sexy. Although they do an excellent job in marketing, with taglines such as “Stop Global Warming, Start Global Hotness!” and it is a great little car, there are far sexier Italian cars on the market. Read all about the 500e here.

THIS Fiat, on the other hand, is truly sexy.

1967 Fiat Dino Spider photo courtesy of

All that said, I’m glad to see Fiat going electric with the 500. The 500 is a fun car, and it is already very popular in Europe, and gaining popularity here in America. However, like the Smart and the Mini, the MPG is lower than it should be for such a small car. The Fiat 500 and the Mini both average 31mpg, while the Smart gets 36MPG.

Although this is great compared to that 1985 pickup truck you’ve traded it in for, it’s just about average these days. According to the US DOE, there are 143 gasoline-powered vehicles on the market today in the US which get over 30MPG, so the Fiat has lots of competition in that arena.

However, the field of electric vehicles is much narrower. Enter the Fiat 500E, which gets a whopping 116 MPGe out of an 83kW electric motor with 147 ft lbs of torque. The Fiat 500E is reportedly capable of an estimated range over 80 miles from the 24 KwH battery pack. Expect the 500e at your local (ahem, if you’re Californian) Fiat dealer in Spring 2013. Check Fiat’s YouTube page for the videos we were shown today, they should be up eventually.

Other neat features on the 500e include:

  • 13% more aerodynamic than other 500’s
  • Fiat 500e Smartphone App (compatible with iPhone and Android) that enables real-time vehicle status, manages charging, tracks the driver’s energy use, locates the vehicle and nearby charging stations, plans and sends routes to the vehicle and provides text-message alerts.
  • TomTom Navigation unit shows the vehicle’s charge schedule, range, and power-flow gauges, and can even request nearby charging stations with real-time availability.
It is also worth mentioning that Fiat debuted a four-door 500L and a cabriolet version of the Fiat 500 Abarth. But you’re here for the EV, am I right?

Gallery Photos Courtesy of Fiat:


Susanna Schick

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders. Occasionally she deigns to cover automobile events in Los Angeles for us as well. However, she dreams of a day when Los Angeles' streets resemble the two-wheeled paradise she discovered living in Barcelona and will not rest until she's converted the masses to two-wheeled bliss.