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Hi,

I’m considering buying a 500e for when I’m up at my university due to the price, appearance, and that I want an electric car as opposed to a gas car, but plan to visit my parents who live ~75 miles from my university at least a couple times per month. The ride from there to their house is like 95% along a 65+ highway, which I heard drains the battery quicker. There’s often traffic, but I don’t know if regenerative braking would play a role in increasing my range for a trip.

My question then is, is it worthwhile to get a 500e or should I look into other electric cars since the range could be an issue? If you have any questions about specifics I’ll be happy to answer them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How many miles does the 500e get on a 220v charge for like 30 min? I would have the option to stop for a bit, to get something to eat or drink. Would that make give me enough range to make the trip?
 

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Your trip simply isn't a good role for the 500e. The range, especially in colder temperatures, and the lack of fast charging, will sometimes make your trip challenging.

I would suggest looking at EVs with more range, fast charging, or preferably both. For example a Chevy SparkEV can recharge from 0-80% in about 25 minutes, giving up to 60 extra miles. The 500e would gain back about 12 miles in the same timeframe.

ga2500ev
 

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Ya, my 500e only gains about 12 or 13 CITY miles in 30 min of 220V. That's maybe around 9 highway miles.

On 220V a Spark gets HALF as much as a Fiat, so check PlugShare.com for locations & costs of chargers near the route. Let us know if you need any help, what with all the different plugs!

But how many weekend fossil car rentals can you get with the thousands of dollars you save on a 500e? (compared to any EV that can easily make the trip nonstop)
 

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On 220V a Spark gets HALF as much as a Fiat, so check PlugShare.com for locations & costs of chargers near the route. Let us know if you need any help, what with all the different plugs!
With the SparkEV, it's the DCFC that gets 0-80% in 25 minutes. L2 doesn't matter in that situation. Also even at 3.3 kW the SparkEV can get a full charge overnight. The combination of the two is sufficient to cover all but a few special circumstances, such as needing a quicker charge during the day and no DCFC available.

ga2500ev
 

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Exactly. If Absolute doesn't have access to DC near his route, & has to use 220V, a Spark takes twice as long as a 500e, hence my suggestion he check plugshare to see what's available.

On that note, more public chargers of BOTH kinds keep getting added. There might be a way to find out about pending DC installations which might make Spark a more viable option soon, after renting for the first few trips.

Other future considerations may include possibly living in an apartment with no wall outlet where you park, & not wanting to pay for DC every charge.

Like when my apartment's garage outlet suddenly failed, & it took a month or more to fix, but even when my boss was using the work outlet for her own EV, I could just stop for a while at a free public L2, or visit my friend & use her home L2. Spark would take twice as long unless I paid $16.20/hour for for DC.
 

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Hi,

I’m considering buying a 500e for when I’m up at my university due to the price, appearance, and that I want an electric car as opposed to a gas car, but plan to visit my parents who live ~75 miles from my university at least a couple times per month. The ride from there to their house is like 95% along a 65+ highway, which I heard drains the battery quicker. There’s often traffic, but I don’t know if regenerative braking would play a role in increasing my range for a trip.

My question then is, is it worthwhile to get a 500e or should I look into other electric cars since the range could be an issue? If you have any questions about specifics I’ll be happy to answer them.
Buy it! I bought a used 2014 500e with 64K on it and it runs like a champ. Ask if the four recalls have been done. You can still get them done at any Chrysler/Dodge dealership, nation wide. When it says 84 miles, it means it. When you charge it, and it says "charged", unplug and plug it back in. You'll get more miles. You'll never do an out of town trip in this car. It's strictly for around town driving. Never fail to charge it after each use. 110/120 volts will do the job, slowly, 4-8 hours. A 220/240 volt socket will charge it in less than an hour. Never fail to keep it charged. Check the 12 volt battery for it's age. If three years old, replace it ASAP. It's a great and under rated little electric. We bought ours for $4900. We replaced the battery and put new tires and wipers on as soon after we got it. We have an F150 and only drive it to keep the battery up. We only use it for out of town trips. Surprise! We hardly buy gas, anymore, and the electric bill remains the same. The trick with the electric bill is to charge it immediately after each use. If you're only gong to use 110, this will be even more vital.
 

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listen to the majority opinion. This is not a good choice for your highway needs. Also, after about 60-70 k miles, the battery range starts dropping dramatically, trust me on this, mine has 97k miles and now my highway range at the speed limit is only about 40-45 miles. I don't know where JR is getting his numbers, but on 110 volt level one charger, a full recharge from empty takes about 24 hours. a 220 Level 2 will do it in 3-4 hours. Fully charging the battery at every opportunity will reduce battery capacity over time, better to keep it charged around 4 bars unless you need a full charge for a long trip. Running the charge way down also is tough on the battery life. As a town car, it is awesome, and if you can get one for under $2k (max i would pay for a 2014) go for it, if that is your only use.
 

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listen to the majority opinion. This is not a good choice for your highway needs. Also, after about 60-70 k miles, the battery range starts dropping dramatically, trust me on this, mine has 97k miles and now my highway range at the speed limit is only about 40-45 miles. I don't know where JR is getting his numbers, but on 110 volt level one charger, a full recharge from empty takes about 24 hours. a 220 Level 2 will do it in 3-4 hours. Fully charging the battery at every opportunity will reduce battery capacity over time, better to keep it charged around 4 bars unless you need a full charge for a long trip. Running the charge way down also is tough on the battery life. As a town car, it is awesome, and if you can get one for under $2k (max i would pay for a 2014) go for it, if that is your only use.
Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Mine comes from real life use. I've already said it's an around town car. Letting the battery completely drain would result in 24 hours at 110, but an intelligent person isn't going to do that. Listen to the "majority" opinion? Give me a break. This car was created by Fiat strictly to be able to sell their cars in California. As it turned out for Fiat, it was a happy accident and now all Fiats in Europe are going to be electric. One thing I've realized is that 90% of people don't maintain their cars. You have people with 500e models with original batteries that are well over 4-5 years old. This hurts the entire system, including the lithium battery. It's America and you can do what ever you want to. Listen, or don't, but check out the car carefully. Most Dodge/Chrysler dealers inherited Fiat mechanics when Fiat shut down in the USA. Any used car is a risk. The bottom line is that I hardly buy gas anymore and only for out of town runs with our F150. Big savings. Get the car as cheap as you can, but don't listen to unrealistic prices like $2K. Look at the prices they're going for on Craigslist and then negotiate down. However, if you have some idea that you'll be able to travel with this car, then forget about it.
 

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Everyone has a right to their own opinion. Mine comes from real life use. I've already said it's an around town car. Letting the battery completely drain would result in 24 hours at 110, but an intelligent person isn't going to do that. Listen to the "majority" opinion? Give me a break. This car was created by Fiat strictly to be able to sell their cars in California. As it turned out for Fiat, it was a happy accident and now all Fiats in Europe are going to be electric. One thing I've realized is that 90% of people don't maintain their cars. You have people with 500e models with original batteries that are well over 4-5 years old. This hurts the entire system, including the lithium battery. It's America and you can do what ever you want to. Listen, or don't, but check out the car carefully. Most Dodge/Chrysler dealers inherited Fiat mechanics when Fiat shut down in the USA. Any used car is a risk. The bottom line is that I hardly buy gas anymore and only for out of town runs with our F150. Big savings. Get the car as cheap as you can, but don't listen to unrealistic prices like $2K. Look at the prices they're going for on Craigslist and then negotiate down. However, if you have some idea that you'll be able to travel with this car, then forget about it.
Also, make sure the car has had all four recalls taken care of. Poor charging and reduced battery levels are related to these recalls.
 

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JR sorry to get your panties in a twist. The poster said he needed to do a twice monthly highway trip of 75 miles, and yet you reply "buy it!", and then later you say "You'll never do an out of town trip in this car. It's strictly for around town driving." So why are you advising to buy it considering his needs? The rest of your post about charging is mostly accurate but it is widely accepted among long time owners that the range number is an approximation based upon the most recent trip dynamics, which would be based on speed, terrain (hills), temperature, etc. If you would be driving the exact same route, in the exact same conditions, the range is somewhat reliable. But that range indicator is also commonly known here on the forum as "the guess-o-meter" . Sorry if I offended you.
 

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Also, if the poster were to squeeze out a 75 mile trip on the car, he most certainly would be charging from a nearly flat battery, so a 24 hour L1 charge would be required. That may not work into his visit turnaround timetable.
 

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When it says 84 miles, it means it.
I'm going to have to splash cold water on this one. Just today, a decent day with temps in the mid 80s, I took an extended ride in my 2014. Started at 100% and 82 miles on the GOM. Did moderate driving on backroads (no AC/open windows) and on the right lane of the highway at under 60 MPH (AC auto set at 70 degrees). My ending numbers:

Total miles: 41.2 miles
Efficiency: 3.8 miles/kWh
Ending SOC: 10%

So, I can definitively say that when it says 82 miles, you cannot necessarily trust it.

ga2500ev
 

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Many good points being made, even though there seems to be a bit of perceived animosity. Pretty much all of us LOVE this car, but it definitely has it's quirks/limitations, including working best for long trips when left in the parking lot at Enterprise or the airport:

- The miles gauge is fairly accurate, but ONLY if you drive VERY consistently like I do on my own 75%-city route where it shows about 100 miles when full but if I got on the freeway right now with no traffic it would show 100 miles at first, & if I failed to look at it a few miles later I'd get a big dose of reality with it dropping substantially.

- Sorry, but range loss seems a bit meaningless based on the % gauge, since it goes out of calibration, reading lower & lower over time/miles, as much as 20% in one case, making it appear there's more range loss than there really is. At least 2 forum members have recalibrated & measured & both found a little under 2.3% per 10,000 miles. Recalibration is unfortunately quite an involved process: Regain Lost Range for Free!

- The number of recalls/"campaigns" varies by year, but none that I'm aware of have any effect on charging or reduced battery levels, at least based on everything I've read (but I might have missed something) or what Fiat SAID (but they very well may have lied):

N51: Halfshaft threadlock
P23: Inverter replacement
R15: New software to prevent stalling
R20: New software to prevent self-shift to N (my 2013 was exempt)
S26: More new software to prevent stalling
S93: HV battery vent cap replacement
U69: New software prevents 12V from draining HV while unplugged. That was in 2018, & there haven't been any since, that I know of.
 

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I have just purchased a 2013 500e with 49K miles because I do mostly city driving here in Los Angeles. I've done the recalibration mentioned here (Regain Lost Range for Free!) and am still unable to get any more than 62 miles on a full charge.

When I am driving on the freeway, it's closer to 45 miles on a full charge. I hear that people say the range is higher but that is not my experience.

I have resigned myself to loving a stylish, zippy electric car that I will not drive more than 50 miles in a day because it once it gets below 20 miles, it requires 3+ hours to recharge at best.

Hope that experience is helpful, and I'm sure open to suggestions if anyone has any.
 

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Hmm... "Your 50 miles in a day" to avoid going below 20 miles would be 70 miles total. I hope you're not going by the highly-inaccurate "miles" gauge.

Please confirm how you ensured that you really took it low enough to recalibrate it.

Also what kind of speed do you drive? (sometimes you can go 80+ on L.A. freeways & that really kills range)
 

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Hi,

I’m considering buying a 500e for when I’m up at my university due to the price, appearance, and that I want an electric car as opposed to a gas car, but plan to visit my parents who live ~75 miles from my university at least a couple times per month. The ride from there to their house is like 95% along a 65+ highway, which I heard drains the battery quicker. There’s often traffic, but I don’t know if regenerative braking would play a role in increasing my range for a trip.

My question then is, is it worthwhile to get a 500e or should I look into other electric cars since the range could be an issue? If you have any questions about specifics I’ll be happy to answer them.
Fiat quote 199 miles for my car, but ...
I'm getting about 3.5 miles per kWh from my 2021 European spec 500e with a 42kWh battery. Thats average over 2,300miles
The longest return journey i've done is 63 miles each way. First time I set the cruise control to 66mph and only had 54% left in battery on arrival and chose to charge before returning. Second time I set to 60mph and had 20% left when I got home. I always use the 'RANGE' mode.
Use of air con makes big difference, of course.
 

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Hi,

I’m considering buying a 500e for when I’m up at my university due to the price, appearance, and that I want an electric car as opposed to a gas car, but plan to visit my parents who live ~75 miles from my university at least a couple times per month. The ride from there to their house is like 95% along a 65+ highway, which I heard drains the battery quicker. There’s often traffic, but I don’t know if regenerative braking would play a role in increasing my range for a trip.

My question then is, is it worthwhile to get a 500e or should I look into other electric cars since the range could be an issue? If you have any questions about specifics I’ll be happy to answer them.
I LOVE my 500e, don't get me wrong. It's great for zipping around, but the distance you propose driving might be a bit of a stretch. I live about 8 miles from town and it's nothing to tootle around town for errands, and we have enough free 2nd-Tier chargers to make it very convenient to do a day of tootling, but if I drive further, say my mother's house, which is 110 miles away, I have to stop at a half-way mark and charge for 90 minutes. I usually avoid the interstate, take a state route and do about 50 mph. I have done it with climate control on and off, but either way, I don't think I'd make it without an interim charge.
When I first purchased my little zipper, I drove it home from the used car dealer - 65 miles/1hr. 23 min. according to g-maps. At about 5 miles from my home, I hit "0" range. Car kept ratcheting down to below 35, which I later learned is what it's supposed to do when you're that low on charge. I made it home on negative range. I was frozen, (wintertime without climate control once I figured out that was eating up my reserves, about 10 miles into my journey. The dealer had not fully charged the car - I think they thought it was faulty and didn't tell me, but they were unable to fully charge because the timer was set for off-peak hours - California time. Oye.) So, is it doable? Yes. Is it convenient? Nope. Another possibility, are there maybe some free chargers along your route? Those 90 minutes of 2nd-Tier charging are a great time to pull-over for lunch, or read. You can download "Plug Share" to map a course.

Alternately, my husband and I just drove our Kia Niro EV from Virginia to Maine with no issues, (although, when are these fast charge companies gonna start putting up awnings? Charging in the pouring rain is no fun. And there are always snafus with the interface that make you have to get out and unplug/re-plug.) We would drive about 200 miles at a turn, stop to do a fast charge - about 45 minutes, eat, snack, potty-breaks, and it was a fabulous trip, about 750 miles.

So that's my recommendation. Fiat 500 EV is a GREAT car for tootling. Not so great for long-hauls.
 
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