why small battery is a good deal

why small battery is a good deal

Who can do more can do less. But sometimes the least is enough when you have properly assessed your needs, especially mobility. For a car that’s mostly used for getting to work, running errands and/or picking up the kids from school, choosing a small-battery electric one makes sense. At Fiat, the electric 500 is offered with two battery capacities. With the largest (37.3 kWh usable), the Italian is not displayed at less than 31,700 € before bonus – which will drop from 6,000 to 5,000 € on July 1. But with the small 23.8 kWh, the price drops to €26,200, or from €119 per month for long-term rental under conditions. Given the price of fuel today, this is worth thinking about, even if we have to assume the small range of the Fiat. According to our measurements, its battery is empty after 175 km in town (243 km with the 37.3 kWh), 128 km on the road (against 178 km) or only 90 km on the highway (instead of 150 km). Distances further shortened in winter – batteries don’t like the cold – but also in summer by generous use of air conditioning. However, for a car dedicated to short daily journeys, this is enough as long as you can recharge at home and/or at work. All with a Lilliputian budget for use, this 500th with a small battery is content with an average of 16 kWh, or €2.48, per 100 km. This is better than the 37.3 kWh variant (21.75 kWh per 100 km, costing €3.37)… not to mention the €11.90 demanded by a 500 Hybrid, with an SP E10 at €1.95/ liter.

Less powerful, no less fun

In addition to its smaller battery, the electric 500 also comes with a less powerful electric motor, 95 hp instead of 118 hp. But, behind the wheel, the loss is minimal. First, because the torque available is the same (220 Nm). Then thanks to its much more reasonable weight of 1200 kg, when its big sister admits 1365 kg. The losses in acceleration (+ 0.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h) and recovery (+ 0.7 seconds from 80 to 120 km/h) are barely perceptible and this 500 remains that playful city car that starts promptly at the green light and passes safely on the road. This is a chip that is still as pleasant to live with, whose liveliness is appreciated as much in the city as on the road. Especially since the more reasonable weight makes it more balanced at the grip limits, knowing that the ESP anti-skid does not hesitate to act vigorously so that this Fiat with a very short wheelbase (2.32 m) does not find itself in a bad position. For the rest, this small battery variant remains an electric 500. That is to say,you have to get used to its strong steering assistance, its damping which sometimes lacks softness, and also its braking. In Normal mode, the latter lacks progressiveness and we do not benefit from any regenerative braking. To have it, you have to switch to Range or Sherpa (which maximizes autonomy but deactivates beyond 80 km / h). There, just lifting your foot off the accelerator is enough to decelerate frankly, until the car stops. Except that it is difficult to avoid jolts that may upset your passengers.

Small battery = faster charging

The Fiat 500 Electric with 23.8 kWh battery may be more accessible, but the presentation is nice.© Fiat

But that does not prevent the little Fiat from being pleasant to live in, it which, much more modern than its thermal sisters, displays a pleasant interior presentation and an acceptable driving position despite the absence of depth adjustment of the steering wheel. The rear seats are mainly for children and the trunk is not very large (150 dm³). In exchange, its small size (3.63 m) and its good turning circle (9.7 m) are appreciated in town. And when recharging, its small battery becomes an advantage, since on our 7.4 kWh socket, it only took us 3 h 30 min to return to 100%.