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2013 FIAT 500e
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With the 2nd generation 500e, certainly the early ones, it's quite common to have to go back to a dealer for software updates.
Right: The much later model coming to the US in 2024 should have the software bugs mostly worked out, with much less need for updates, but still readily available at the 2,600 existing US dealerships.
 

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2021 Fiat 500e La Prima, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
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254 Posts
..., but still readily available at the 2,600 existing US dealerships.
Once they have been trained and equipped to work on the 500e. Only a fraction of the UK Fiat dealers are allowed by Fiat to work on the 500e currently. The 3 nearest Fiat dealers to me aren't yet.
 

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I wouldn't mind getting into a newer 500e that is fast charging capable, that's pretty well why i'm selling my 2015 now. Driving to Spring to pay and spend 2 1/2-3 hours charging, then drive around for a bit before stopping before leaving and charging again then heading home kinda kills the usability to me. I'd be interested to see if they have huge dealer mark ups like i see around me now on EV's. Lot's of dealers are even "selling" EVs to employees so that the dealer can collect the 7500 tax break and then selling it a same year used with 200 miles on it.
 

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I’m a fan of the 500e even after I had to turn in my 2017 as a lemon. It sat at the shop for 3 months and the technicians could not fix it. I’ve been waiting or them to bring the new 500e to California ever since they came out…but I’m not going to wait another year. Sorry Fiat, I just ordered a 2023 Mini Cooper SE.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Only a fraction of the UK Fiat dealers are allowed by Fiat to work on the 500e currently.
That sucks. Apparently in the US all 2,600 Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealerships do software updates. Nearly nobody ever needs anything else.

All they do is plug into the OBD port & make a few selections on their screen, so "training" should only be "Do it just like a petrol car.". I wonder what their problem is in the UK.
 

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I think, but don’t know, the hardware and connectivity for the new car is a bigger burden on the dealership. From the sound of some problems one thing could be the need for a live link from the car to Fiat for the duration of the upgrade. Some of the file sizes seem fairly big and not all dealerships have the network to cope. They probably should, but they don’t.
Also here the health and safety around working on a vehicle with a high voltage system seems to have got rather more serious but with not enough training or equipment.
 

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2021 Fiat 500e La Prima, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
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254 Posts
It's not the complexity of software updates which delay UK dealerships' qualification to work on the 500e. They can't work on the 500e at all, even for routine services, unless qualified. The complexity of updating the software on a 500e is no different from my AR Giulia. All UK AR dealers can do all work on the Giulia.
As @MaryWhitehouse says, it's all down to paranoia in Europe about H&S. ie the fact that there's quite a lot of high voltage energy in the car.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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"Paranoia" is right!

Yes, there is high voltage in the car, but there are built-in safeties*, and those parts nearly never need to even be looked at, let alone touched, especially for regular service. Much like a petrol car's even higher voltage ignition system, & toxic/explosive/flammable fluids, the high voltage of an EV can be ignored during software updates, which again are nearly all that's ever needed from a dealership.

However, @MaryWhitehouse may have the real issue: Special wireless equipment needed to communicate with the car. The 1st-gen just uses a standard OBD plug, which all the dealerships already have.

If the US 2024 500e requires specialized dealership support, I might not want to live more than a few fast-charge stops past the circles on their distribution map below, but by then they may have over-the-air updates anyway.

* For example, the cover of every high-voltage component has a built-in switch, which disconnects power as soon as the cover is lifted.

Click to enarge:
Tire Motor vehicle Car Wheel Automotive design
 

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2021 Fiat 500e La Prima, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
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Yes, there is high voltage in the car, but there are built-in safeties*, and those parts nearly never need to even be looked at, let alone touched, especially for regular service. Much like a petrol car's even higher voltage ignition system, & toxic/explosive/flammable fluids, the high voltage of an EV can be ignored during software updates, which again are nearly all that's ever needed from a dealership.
All true, but FIAT UK seem to be taking the view that to do any work on the 500e, a technician has to be trained on the HV aspects.
My presumption is this is legislation driven and dealers of all EV makes in this country have the same attitude.
 

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The available-everywhere US software updates might also be legislation driven: At least 3 of the software updates were mandatory safety recalls, so FCA may have been legally required to make them available at all of their dealerships.
 
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