The Fiat 500 Electric at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show

The all electric Fiat 500E to debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show

The organizers for the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show have announced that among the new model debuts at the LA show this year will be the all electric Fiat 500E – giving the Chrysler Group their first electric vehicle and helping them show some support for the EV movement even though Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne seems less than enthusiastic about the project.

Considering the absurd laws in California that push new car buyers towards electric vehicles it comes as no great surprise that the production level Fiat 500E will make its debut in the City of Angels. The LAAS organizers expect this to be a huge year for electric vehicles as well as hybrids and the Fiat 500E is just one of three new EVs to debut in late November (along with the Ford Focus Electric and another unnamed model).

Unfortunately, the release from the LA Auto Show announcing that the Fiat 500E would make its grand debut did not offer any details on the new compact EV but based on the rumors that have been floating around for the past year or so, we can expect the all-electric Fiat 500 to offer around 100 horsepower. This is a little lower than many of the competitors in the electric vehicle segment with the most popular pure EVs being the 120 horsepower Nissan Leaf and the 143 Ford Focus Electric but when you consider how much smaller the Fiat 500 is than those two EVs – the 500E should be plenty peppy and offer plenty of range with its less powerful drive system. The traditional, gas powered Fiat 500 packs just 101 horsepower and 98lb-ft of torque but is still a blast to drive so an electric version with 100hp (and probably more than 98lb-ft of torque) could likely be one of the more engaging EVs in terms of driving excitement.

The good news is that the Fiat 500E could also be quite a bit less expensive than those other two as the Focus Electric starts just under $40k while the Leaf starts just over $35k. Considering the possible 500E pricing compared to the rest of the current Fiat lineup as well as other subcompacts – the Fiat 500E could arrive as the least expensive EV in the US.


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