Fiat Fiasco - 500e Battery / Charging is impractical

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Thread: Fiat Fiasco - 500e Battery / Charging is impractical

  1. #1
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    Thumbs down Fiat Fiasco - 500e Battery / Charging is impractical

    I leased a Fiat 500e and got a fairly good deal; 2 yrs, $1000 down, $234./Mo. I've had it only a week and I need to return this ill conceived vehicle.

    I am pretty bummed. Here's the problem with this vehicle. The battery ONLY holds an 80 mile charge. At first that seemed like it was a non issue, but there's a catch. Unless you have a home charger (or a commercial BLINK charger next door) you will spend much of your driving experience seeking out charging stations and hours of recharging time.

    Charging up an 80 mile charge means you really cannot go below 15 miles of battery life. If you live in an apartment or condo you are screwed. Without gas back up, a larger capacity battery (like Tesla's 300 mile battery), or a switch out battery (not invented yet) you will need to get to the closest charging station when you arrive at your destination. Unfortunately the infrastructure is not there yet. I live in L A where we live in our cars. There are 2 charging stations 'near' my apartment (3 blocks). Other stations are sparsely spread out around the metro area; 3-4 sites in West Hollywood, 3-4 in Santa Monica, you get the picture. The paucity of power stations makes it nearly impossible to travel anywhere in a day and still have time to charge for 2-4 hrs for the next day....unless you have your own 240v charging station to charge overnight at home. There is a 110v cord but that takes 24 hours and the same problem for apartments...no outlets in garages.

    BLINK suggests a solution to this dilemma; use the DCFC (DC Fast Charger) that gives a full charge in only 30 min (instead of 4 hrs). There are no DCFC stations available in Los Angeles yet.


    Also, the sun roof is flawed - they forgot to put in a sun shield. It only has a sun screen filter and the tint on the glass sun roof is not dark enough to keep out the glare. I have to wear sunglasses and a hat. This also heats up the interior and that means more AC, more drain on the battery. Back to a charging station.

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  3. #2
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    Well, that should have all been more than obvious before you leased the car. Also, cars have to be designed to handle the DC fast charge, and I'm pretty sure the 500e is not. There was some rumor that capability might be in future models, or possibly retrofittable to the current one.

    If you were hoping to live off of public power, that was an error. Public chargers are often occupied or out of service. Buying an EV without a 240 home station is really embarking on an adventure. Plugshare.com might help you find a home in your neighborhood that is willing to share. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by daninmarina View Post
    I leased a Fiat 500e and got a fairly good deal; 2 yrs, $1000 down, $234./Mo. I've had it only a week and I need to return this ill conceived vehicle.

    I am pretty bummed. Here's the problem with this vehicle. The battery ONLY holds an 80 mile charge. At first that seemed like it was a non issue, but there's a catch. Unless you have a home charger (or a commercial BLINK charger next door) you will spend much of your driving experience seeking out charging stations and hours of recharging time.

    Charging up an 80 mile charge means you really cannot go below 15 miles of battery life. If you live in an apartment or condo you are screwed. Without gas back up, a larger capacity battery (like Tesla's 300 mile battery), or a switch out battery (not invented yet) you will need to get to the closest charging station when you arrive at your destination. Unfortunately the infrastructure is not there yet. I live in L A where we live in our cars. There are 2 charging stations 'near' my apartment (3 blocks). Other stations are sparsely spread out around the metro area; 3-4 sites in West Hollywood, 3-4 in Santa Monica, you get the picture. The paucity of power stations makes it nearly impossible to travel anywhere in a day and still have time to charge for 2-4 hrs for the next day....unless you have your own 240v charging station to charge overnight at home. There is a 110v cord but that takes 24 hours and the same problem for apartments...no outlets in garages.

    BLINK suggests a solution to this dilemma; use the DCFC (DC Fast Charger) that gives a full charge in only 30 min (instead of 4 hrs). There are no DCFC stations available in Los Angeles yet.


    Also, the sun roof is flawed - they forgot to put in a sun shield. It only has a sun screen filter and the tint on the glass sun roof is not dark enough to keep out the glare. I have to wear sunglasses and a hat. This also heats up the interior and that means more AC, more drain on the battery. Back to a charging station.
    You didn't know this when you got the car? It's not a flaw, and it's not ill-conceived. It's very well conceived for certain uses. And I'm getting more than 85 miles on every charge, using a lot of highway and hills. I'm sure I could get over 90 in certain driving. Of course, if you want to drive it 80 miles every day you will need a home charger or charge someplace out. That's obvious.

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    Senior Member promocop's Avatar
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    You should have done your homework! I drove all day today, over 80 miles and got home with 25% left. I do not yet own a 240 charger. By tomorrow 8am it will be about 80% charged More then enough for the saturdays errands. Beverly Hills has DOZENS of FREE 240 stations. As well Santa Monica. You need to study both the Charge point and Blink maps. There are stations all over the west side. As for then sunroof. Spend $5.00 and buy a piece of dark tint screen film at PEP Boys and apply it yourself if you don't want to go to a professional. And stop whining!

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    Quote Originally Posted by daninmarina View Post
    I leased a Fiat 500e... I've had it only a week and I need to return this ill conceived vehicle.
    You have a lot of audacity to blame Fiat for making a perfectly good car that simply doesn't suit you, due to your poor assessment of your needs. Grow up.


    Sent from AutoGuide.com App

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    Senior Member promocop's Avatar
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    Amen. And there is another post here where someone is getting fantastic mileage. After a month of driving love the car love the mileage per ccharge I'm getting and I've figured out I don't need the expense of a 240 charger at home. I schedule my life partially around whe I can get free juice when i psrk it It's fun!

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    I have read on other forums of folks who carry around the 240 v charger with them and plugin to a 240 outlet (dryer or similar).. You have to be very careful though with all things electrical.. Anyway, the recommended one is by Clipper Creek, LCS 25 or something like that, $495 on sale right now, max amps is 20, so it won't overload a circuit.... So a full charge may take 5 hrs instead of the 3 hrs on a higher amp home charger. Does your apt have an available 240 v? The charger is normally hard wired install but you can use it without hard wire. I hope I am explaining this ok, this electrical stuff is confusing to me too.. I read about this on I think the myfocuselectric.com forum, or maybe it was Chevy spark EV. Google the portable L2 charger thread. Good luck. It sounds like a nice little car, you are lucky to have gotten it at the advertised price, and luckier still to snag one of the 491.. No more being produced until next year.. Who knows. These may become collector's items! Anyway, maybe the electrically smart members on this forum can chime in on the safety of such setup.

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    The LCS-25 is a good charger. There is also a company that will upgrade your 110 VAC charger to 240/110 autoswitching with a collection of plugs so you can plug in anywhere you can find electricity!

    But one does have to keep in mind that juicing up isn't the same for electrics and gas cars. I guess one can think of the hassles of thinking about charging locations is what we get stuck with for never having to buy gas! There is no free lunch!

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    Dr O. Does that company modify the 500e charger? Can you name them? I've heard of that for Other EVs. In the mean time I put a J1772 plug on a Tesla UMC so it charges both my 500e and my wife's Model S.

    Daninmarina, unless you can charge at home or your office most days you are going to spend your life stressed while looking for charging places and it is not the car for you. I can easily charge every second day, sometimes on the 3rd but I have a charger in my garage so wake up with 'a full tank' every morning. I commend you for your cool green car desire but agree with the above that you should have thought this through a bit better.

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    I can't believe I'm reading this.
    As I am apparently the only one who actually BOUGHT the car vs. leasing, I immediately installed a level 2 charger. I got the GE one. I have not had to run below 65% battery and charging takes 2 hours from there.
    I gladly would have paid another $10,000 for the car.
    And yes, even if I could only get 80 miles per charge it would be fantastic.
    I'm working on getting solar panels too....if my HOA is ok with that.
    So, sorry if this is offensive, but I'm sick of the haters.

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