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The Fiat 500 Electric – The EV of futures past
The Fiat 500 gets an EV heart
If you’re in the market for a small city EV but are put off by the somewhat ‘rubbish’ nature of them all, now there is another way.
This is the Fiat 500 Electric and beneath that achingly cool retro bodywork sits a whole host of 21st-century tech and innovation. It is the creation of Classic Chrome, who outsourced the conversion of the donor cars to Electric Classics to bring you what has to be the coolest city EV the world has ever seen.
For the most part, small city EVs have one major image issue in so much that they are best described as not very good looking at all. In the Fiat 500 EV though, you will find none of this, as all of the classic original looks has been maintained to the point that you have little idea of what lies beneath the bodywork.
On the inside, there is one small difference with the addition of a battery system readout, aside from this, it is all original giving it a character sorely missing from today’s cars. From all of the exposed metal to the two-spoke steering wheel, it’s all just achingly cool.
Way back in the day, the original Fiat 500 produced some 17 horsepower from its tiny motor. To improve on this minimalist number, the designers have fitted a brushless AC20 electric motor giving it some 47 horsepower and 70lb-ft of torque. This may not sound like a lot, but you should remember that this tiny car only weighs around 500kg, so it’s light meaning the drivetrain gives ample power for zipping around a city environment.
This electric motor is fed via a trio of Tesla sourced batteries boasting 16kWh of power or around 50-70 miles of range in the real world. According to Classic Chrome, an additional cost battery can be added to the front boot upping the range to around 100 miles. Charging takes around seven hours with a 1.5Kw charger. Or if you’re feeling flush, an optional 2.5Kw charger will do the job in a shade over four hours.
Some of you will be aware that classic cars generally provide a significant amount of terror when it comes to the driving experience. Here you will find none of that fear though as the 500 Electric has been upgraded with stronger driveshafts, new modern suspension and a front disc brake conversion because stopping is essential after all.
It also boasts an upgraded clutch to help the new shiny electric motor send all of its power to a four-speed manual gearbox. Yes, there are no single-speed gearboxes here with the car’s designers deciding to maintain the original manual box instead.
Around town, I found the second cog to be all you will ever need. From a slow start to zipping up Chelsea Road, it handled it all with ease with no need to dip the clutch when starting or stopping, just keep it in gear and apply the throttle and off you go, making driving it all very simple.
When driving it around town, you are greeted with waves and admiring looks as you pass because the sight of a vintage Fiat 500 whirring along the road holds a large amount of cool factor which most other modern city EVs lack almost entirely.
If you’re in the market for a tiny city EV and you don’t want to be like everybody else, then the 500 Electric is a strong proposition at the £25,000 asking price.
Which if we are being honest is a very small amount to pay for the cool factor alone.
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