Fiat will introduce its new EV, the 500e, on Friday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The tiny two-door is an electrified version of one of Fiat’s most iconic models – it’s ubiquitous in Europe, where it’s affectionately known as the “Italian backpack,” but went on sale in the US only in 2011.
The 500e has an 83 kW (111 hp) motor that delivers 147 lb-ft of torque. The 24 kWh lithium-ion battery features 6.6 kW charging and an active liquid cooling and heating system. Fiat expects the EPA-rated range to be about 80 miles. The “retro-futuristic” design features “purposeful electric vehicle cues for a cutting-edge look.” Inside, a 7-inch thin-film transistor display provides the usual gauges and goodies.
And now for the bad news. According to InsideEVs, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that the company expects to lose $8,000-$10,000 on every unit, and acknowledges that it is a compliance car, to be sold in California only. Ironically, there are no plans to put it on sale in Europe. The 500e is scheduled to go on sale in the US in summer 2013. No price has been announced, but the word on the strada is that it will be between 35 and 40 grand.