The Chrysler Group may be the last of the Detroit three to enter the EV marketplace, but the debut of the 2013 Fiat 500e this summer in California shows the automaker was putting its development time to good use. Not only will the vehicle itself offer new benchmarks for driving efficiency, but it also will benefit from a comprehensive support program designed to provide a “no sacrifices” ownership experience. And it all starts with the fact that the 2013 Fiat 500e actually offers an ownership experience.
While rivals like the Honda Fit EV were introduced as lease-only models, the gas-free 2013 Fiat 500e can be purchased for as little as $20,500: The MSRP of the car starts at $32,500, but federal, state and Fiat credits, incentives and discounts can slash more than $10K off the net price for owners, reducing it to below the starting point for the gas-powered 2013 FIAT 500 “Pop” model. Plus, for those who do prefer going the lease route, Fiat is starting with the same terms offered on the 500 Pop: $999 down and $199 per month for 36 months.
The next step?
“With unique Italian style, industry-best highway MPGe rating and class-leading combined driving range, we know we have a great car in our hands,” said Tim Kuniskis, head of FIAT Brand North America. “Now our task is to simplify the customer’s experience and make sure that people know how easy and affordable it can be to own our electric Cinquecento.”
And that effort continues on the next page …
2013 Fiat 500e: Getting a Pass on Range Anxiety
The Fiat folks are relying on a two-pronged approach to dealing with range anxiety, and this is where things get particularly interesting. On the one hand, the 2013 Fiat 500e comes right out of the box with a best-in-class EV driving range of 87 miles, along with an EPA line of 122 MPGe city/105 MPGe highway/116 MPGe combined. Further, Fiat provides a host of technologies to help owners manage the charging process, including a standard nav system that shows the location of public charging outlets—like the four charging stations at each of the brand’s “studios” in California.
But then there’s the real difference-maker, which is the standard 2013 Fiat 500e Pass program that’s offered in conjunction with the Enterprise family of vehicle rental companies. For the first three years after purchase, this initiative gives owners 12 days of complimentary vehicle rentals annually from Enterprise, Alamo or National, with unlimited mileage on select vehicles. It’s ideal for folks who rely on the 2013 Fiat 500e for their daily driving, for example, but want to take a no-hassles, long-distance road trip; the Pass program also can come in handy if owners need a larger vehicle, like a pickup or minivan, for DIY projects and the like.
“This innovative idea from the FIAT brand and Enterprise Holdings will provide purchasers of a new 500e with the opportunity to enjoy the exciting characteristics of this all-electric vehicle while giving them a flexible alternative in case they want to drive beyond the vehicle’s range,” added Kuniskis. “By addressing upfront the concerns and anxiety consumers may have about purchasing an electric vehicle, we are helping to make it easy and convenient to purchase or lease a Fiat 500e in the state of California.”