Electric vehicles from nearly every automaker are slowly making their way onto the market, but some are moving particularly slow. Vehicles like the Focus Electric and Kia Soul EV are already available nationwide or at least have a nationwide rollout plan in place, but others are taking their sweet old time. The Fiat 500e is a member of the latter group that is taking painstakingly long to span the nation. In fact, up until September 23, 2014, the 500e was only available in California. However, a press release on the 23rd informed us that the 500e has made its way into Oregon.
I do understand Fiat’s slow movement here, as the automaker doesn’t want the 500e to sit on dealer lots and collect dust, However, the 500e has been particularly popular in California and as one of the cheapest full-electric cars at $31,800, it is bound to be a success everywhere in America. Additionally, the current lease deal of $999 at signing and $199 per month is insanely cheap. I, for one, would be at my local Fiat dealer tomorrow to pick up one on lease if it were available here in Florida.
On top of the cheap price, the tiny EV is a decent performer too with its electric motor that produces 111 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque. Sure, its top speed is only 88 mph, but the fastest speed limit in America is 85 mph, so you’re covered. Additionally, the EPA lists it with a respectable combined range of 87 miles and Fiat claims more than 100 miles in the city. What’s more, charging takes only four hours on a Level 2 240-volt charger. The only issue I have with the 500e is the same issue I have with the entire 500 lineup, rear-seat room. The 500e has only 27.6 inches of rear legroom, which is barely enough for a child.
For now there are no known plans for the 500e to hit the east coast, but I am sure that if it continues to sell well, we’ll see on this side of the U.S. in a year or so.