2020 Fiat 500 EV starts from £19,995

The new electric Fiat 500 goes on sale this December, with a range of up to 199 miles

  • Entry-level model costs £19,995
  • Three core trim levels alongside ‘La Prima’ launch edition
  • Two battery sizes available with ranges of 115 or 199 miles

The new Fiat 500 EV will go on sale in December with a starting price of £19,995 after the government’s £3,000 plug-in vehicle grant. Fiat has already confirmed that the new 500 EV will be sold alongside the existing mild-hybrid petrol model.

The Italian firm's popular city car has been switched to a pure-electric powertrain for the new, third-generation model, and will directly rival the Honda e and MINI Electric.

Fiat 500 EV: prices, trim levels and specifications

The 500 EV will be available in three trim levels called Action, Passion and Icon, alongside a special launch model called La Prima.

The entry-level Action model starts at £19,995 and has 15-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and lane-keeping assist. Keyless go is also standard, together with a seven-inch digital dial cluster and a smartphone mount.

The Passion model starts from £23,495 for the hatchback and is available as a convertible for £26,145. Standard equipment includes LED daytime running, 15-inch alloy wheels in a two-tone finish and a choice of two interior colour schemes. A seven-inch infotainment touchscreen also features, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The car in flagship Icon trim starts from £24,495 and comes with 16-inch alloy wheels and a 10.25-inch infotainment system. Buyers can spec interior trim to match the exterior of the car, or pick from wood or faux leather. The 500 Icon Cabriolet starts from £27,645.

The La Prima launch model starts at £26,995 for the hatchback and £29,995 for the convertible. This limited edition version comes with LED headlights, a rear-view camera, wireless Apple CarPlay, 17-inch alloy wheels and eco-leather upholstery, along with Level 2 self-driving technology (combining adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist). You can choose from three colours called ‘Mineral Grey’, ‘Ocean Green’ or ‘Celestial Blue’.

Design, dimensions and practicality

Despite looking very similar to the existing 500, the third-generation model sits on a new platform that is 60mm longer and wider, it also has a 20mm longer wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels). This will improve shoulder and legroom according to Fiat, while the electric powertrain allows for a flat floor and an unchanged luggage capacity to the Fiat 500 Hybrid, which has 182 litres of space.

While the exterior design is still very recognisable, the Fiat 500 now features a smooth nose and the second '0' of '500' has a slash to subtly change it to an 'e' for 'electric'. Upgrades will continue inside thanks to a new Uconnect 5 infotainment system for Fiat. It has a 10.25-inch horizontal touchscreen and promises improved smartphone functionality, including remote access to the car’s status, route information and an assistant service.

The lack of a gear stick means the centre console has been reduced in size, creating a large gap between the driver and passenger's knees.

Electric motor, charging and driving modes

Buyers get a choice of two powertrains. The entry-level 500 EV features a 23.9kWh battery and a 92bhp electric motor. Claimed range is 115 miles but this increases to 150 miles during city driving. Performance is comparable to small petrol rivals, with 0-62mph taking 9.5 seconds and a top speed of 84mph. The mid-range models get a larger 42kWh battery and a 116bhp electric motor. This improves the car’s range to 199 miles, with 0-62mph taking nine seconds and the top speed increased to 93mph.

Models with the bigger battery can accept DC fast charging at up to 85kW, which will add 31 miles of range in just five minutes, the amount Fiat says covers the average daily commute. An 80% charge can be achieved in 35 minutes using the Type 2 charging socket that’s in place of the car's petrol cap.

Three driving modes will be available called 'Normal', 'Range' and 'Sherpa'. The Sherpa mode focuses on ultimate efficiency to ensure the driver can reach the destination in the sat nav or get to the nearest charger. Top speed is limited to 31mph, while the accelerator response is lessened and the climate control and heated seats are deactivated.

'Normal' replicates the driving experience of a petrol Fiat 500, while 'Range' mode activates one-pedal driving, where lifting off the accelerator puts energy back into the battery pack.

The electric Fiat 500 will also offer 'level 2' autonomous driving, using front-facing cameras and an array of sensors to monitor around the car. This will enable intelligent cruise control and lane centering that can keep the car on course on marked roads. 'Urban Blind Spot' uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor for obstacles and display a warning in the door mirrors.

Read our Fiat 500 review to see how it compares with the upcoming model, and see where the Fiat 500C features on our list of best convertibles.

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