One of Europe’s top-selling EVs just got a 0/5 star safety rating. Is it game over for the Renault Zoe?
It’s been a rough week for one of Europe’s best-selling electric cars, the zippy little Zoe, which failed Euro NCAP’s latest round of grueling vehicle safety tests with a grand total of zero stars out of five, a huge blow to a vehicle that previously boasted five-star ratings in earlier models. Is it the end of the road for the beloved Zoe?Expand Expanding Close
It’s fair to say that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) hasn’t been the fastest off the mark when it comes to electric cars. With the lead-footedness displayed across all its brands — Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, and Ram — you could be forgiven for thinking that the Italian-American multinational simply isn’t interested in having an electric future. Or a future at all.Expand Expanding Close
Fiat-Chrysler has been slow and hesitant about electric cars. But it appears that Olivier François, Fiat’s brand president, is finally coming around to EVs. He explained why the demand for the new Fiat 500, which is exclusively electric, could “explode.”
The new Fiat 500e was slated for its launch in early March at the canceled Geneva International Motor Show. Instead, Fiat chief Olivier François stars in an 18-minute virtual press conference for the new 500, which is exclusively electric. What unfolds in those few minutes is a jaw-dropping display of greenwashing, complete with a natural pebble key fob, melodic EV pedestrian acoustics, Leo DiCaprio name-drops, a paint job that supposedly cleans the air, and claims of an eco-revolution.
Carlos Tavares, chief executive of Groupe PSA (formerly PSA Peugeot Citroën), was already ambivalent about EVs. A few weeks ago, he said, “We are selling our electric vehicles to green addicts.” Fiat Chrysler has also been reluctant to invest in electric vehicles. But the planned merger between the two would have allowed them to share EV-development costs — and finally deliver electric cars on a large global scale.
But it now appears that negotiations to finalize the merger are being threatened by the coronavirus.
The new all-electric Fiat 500e was set to debut this week at the Geneva Motor Show, which has been canceled due to the coronavirus. In the confusion, leaked images of the new, stylish, urban Cinquecento EV emerged on the web. The shots reveal the third-generation as bolder, cleaner, and less retro than its predecessor. The photos of the fully retractable roof are especially inviting.
The last of the first-gen Fiat 500e electric minicars left US dealerships in 2019. But it’s coming back in about a year with an updated style and an expected range of about 125 miles. That’s not a lot, but relatively consistent with a breed of small Euro-chic EVs like the Honda E, BMW i3, and Mini Cooper SE. Besides, small electric cars like the Fiat 500e might be the only segment that Tesla is ceding to the competition.
This week’s announcement of a 50-50 merger between the PSA Groupe and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) could create the world’s fourth-largest automaker. A big winner in the marriage is vehicle electrification.
Keep your eyes on the used electric car market in 2017: Tesla sold wholesale at $30,000, Fiat 500e at $4,000
Since the resurgence of the electric car in the current decade, the used electric car market has been mostly weak aside from the occasional deal. Of course, that’s because it’s still a very small market, but it’s now about to be significantly more active primarily because of leases ending.
You are going to want to keep an eye on the used electric car market in 2017.
Earlier this summer, Lucasfilm announced that Fiat’s FCA will be one of six major brand participating in an “expensive and historic” promotional campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As part of the campaign, FCA unveiled a custom-painted Fiat 500e stormtrooper at the LA Auto Show last week.
The Fiat 500e is equipped with a 24 kWh battery pack and can achieve 87 EPA-rated miles on a single charge. At a MSRP of $32,795, the 500e can be an interesting smaller alternative to the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Spark or Kia Soul EV, but like the Soul EV, it suffers from the price comparison with its gasoline-powered counterpart, which starts at $17,990.
Top Gear USA takes on electric cars: Fiat 500E, Ford Focus E and Nissan Leaf. Winner gets to test Tesla [Video]
Top Gear USA did an Electric Episode called ‘Fully Charged’ yesterday showcasing three all-electric cars: Fiat 500E, Ford Fusion and Nissan Leaf. The tests were mostly silly and these petrol-heads probably aren’t a good representation of the car-buying public
- “I guess a silent car is good if you want to kill blind people”
- Reverse Race.
- Race through a mall vs. Mall cop on a Segway
- Burglar test: silence through suburbs
..but there were a few redeeming moments.
They took a break from the silly tests to show electric dragsters which smoked a decked out Camaro ZL1. Also at the end, a Tesla Model S smoked that same Camaro ZL1 in a drag test then proceeded to beat a $100K Mercedes in a road test (with an extra large man in the car). If you can’t view it at the History Channel, this Reddit thread has some other ideas.