Fiat 500e rated at 122 MPGe city, with 87-mile range

Fiat 500e frontFor a car Fiat didn’t want to build, the 500e did surprisingly well in EPA testing. Fiat’s little EV was rated at 112 MPGe city and 108 MPGe highway; its official range is 87 miles. That means this limited-production model won’t embarrass itself when compared to other EVs.

When Fiat unveiled the 500e at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, it said the car could travel up to 100 miles in city driving, and at least 80 miles in mixed city and highway driving. The official 87-mile range more or less splits the difference, and compares favorably with EVs like the Nissan Leaf (79 miles) and Honda Fit (82 miles). 

Fiat calls the 500e’s range “best-in-class among volume manufacturers” but, as the numbers show, this is a case of parity, not domination. Luckily for Fiat, comparing a 500e to a Tesla Model S would be too ridiculous to contemplate.

Things are equally muddled in the MPGe comparison. The Leaf is rated at 106 MPGe city and 99 MPGe highway, giving a 500e a decent advantage. However, the Fiat is much smaller than the Nissan, and the equally tiny Honda is rated at 132 MPGe city and 105 MPGe highway.

At least when someone buys a 500e, they’ll get a Fiat 500’s retro styling. They’ll also get a 111 horsepower electric motor (10 hp more than a base gasoline 500) and a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A full charge takes four hours with a Level 2 (240-volt) charger.

All of this is somewhat moot, though. Fiat is only building the 500e to comply with California’s Zero Emission Vehicle regulations so, like the Scion iQ EV, it will not be a mass-market item.

The 500e will only be sold in California, and its price has not been disclosed. At the LA Show, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said his company will lose $10,000 per car, so don’t expect the 500e to be cheap, or plentiful.

Despite its lack of enthusiasm, Fiat has delivered a solid EV, at least on paper. The 500e’s range and MPGe put it right in the middle of the current EV crowd, which is pretty good for a rush job.

Cars

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show: Where new muscle cars, trucks, and EVs convene

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.
Cars

Baby, you can’t drive my cube: All the insane self-driving lounges at CES 2019

Why drive when you can ride? At CES 2019, car companies are showing off an array of self-driving shuttles, cars, and vans that promise to ferry passengers from Point A to Point B while they kick back and relax in comfort.
Cars

2019 Nissan Leaf e+ tries to play catch up by offering 226 miles of range

Unveiled at CES 2019, the 2019 Nissan Leaf e+ electric car offers a dramatic increase in range over its predecessor -- with more power to boot. But Nissan is still playing catch up with rival automakers.
Cars

The 8-seat, 3-row 2020 Telluride SUV is the biggest Kia ever

It's fitting that the 2020 Kia Telluride debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, as it was built specifically to meet U.S. buyers' insatiable demand for SUVs. Kia packed the eight-seat cabin with family-friendly tech as well.
Cars

Cadillac is finally ready to take on Tesla with its own electric car

At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, Cadillac announced plans for its first electric car. The unnamed model will be a crossover, based on a new platform to be shared with other General Motors brands.
Cars

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Cars

Move mountains with the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty and its 1,000 pound-feet of torque

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pickup truck boasts 1,000 pound-feet of torque -- outgunning rival trucks from Ford and Chevrolet. The new Ram goes on sale later this year.
Cars

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

China’s GAC Motor cruises into Detroit with all-electric Entranze concept

Chinese automaker GAC Motor brought its all-electric Entranze concept to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. This is the third straight year that GAC has appeared in Detroit, and the company has established a design center in California.
Cars

2020 Ford Explorer branches out with sporty ST, efficiency-focused hybrid models

The 2020 Ford Explorer gets two variants never before seen on Ford's stalwart family hauler. The ST focuses on performance, while the hybrid aims for decent gas mileage. Both models will debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti will unveil the QX Inspiration concept at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language that may point to a future production model.
Cars

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.