Fiat’s Baby BEV Boasts Near 200 Mile Range

Fiat’s first BEV maybe its ‘baby’ urban wonder 500 model but it is still claiming a 199 mile range between full charges.

The boast, based on the ‘real-world’ WLTP assessment, comes thanks to its beefy lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 42kWh plus it is equipped with an 85kW fast charge system. The electric motor has an output of 87kW, providing a maximum speed of 93mph (self-limited) and acceleration from zero to 62mph in 9 seconds and zero to 31mph in 3.1 seconds.

The fast charge system claims to take only five minutes to build up a sufficient energy reserve to travel 30 miles, accepted as more than the average daily commute. A fast charger can also power the battery to 80% in just 35 minutes and its Combo 2 socket, located on the rear right side panel of the car, can accept both AC and DC charging.

Home charging solutions include a bespoke Easy Wallbox system that can be connected to a normal home outlet. This “plug-and-charge” solution can be managed via Bluetooth and can stabilize energy load by charging a 500 at home with up to 3kW of charging power, without the need for professional installation. The Easy Wallbox can be upgraded to 7.4kW, providing a full charge at home in just over six hours and the car also comes with a Mode 3 cable for charging at up to 11kW from a public charge point.

It features three driving modes:

  • Normal mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a normal combustion engine;
  • Range mode activates a “one-pedal-drive” function where releasing the accelerator causes much greater deceleration than with a normal combustion engine;
  • Sherpa mode acts like a “Himalayan Sherpa”, taking charge of the journey’s needs adjusting various parameters such as maximum speed is limited to 50mph, accelerator response is managed in order to reduce energy consumption and deactivation of both the climate control system and heated seats although these can be manually overridden.

Production of the BEV 500 returns to its birthplace of Turin, Italy, where the first model was first created 63 years ago. Unveiled in top specification guise – La Prima – pre-orders begin today, priced at £29,000 ($37,192) on the road including UK government grants.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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