Jonny test drives the new 2021 Fiat 500e EV. This completely new version of the retro-styled icon that was reborn in 2007 (the original 'bambino' 500 launched 50 years earlier in 1957) and is only going to be sold as an electric car, although the existing piston cars will continue to be sold.

The international launch in Italy was cancelled, and instead Jonny took the 500e for a trip around the ‘Italian Quarter’ of Birmingham city. Birmingham being the home of the Peaky Blinder gangs (and hit TV series), where Thomas Shelby’s Italian gang rivals were the Italian Changretta family. Hence Jonny’s (faux) peaky blinders attire. There is still a lot of Italian families in Birmingham, but we couldn’t talk to those, or find any ice cream cafes open. Or anything open.

The new car is unmistakeably a 500, but 61mm longer, 56mm wider, a 22mm longer wheelbase and – a first for the 500 – 17″ alloy wheels. More room inside? So they say. No Fiat badges on the front – just the art deco ‘500’ type face.

Who are the new 500e’s electric rivals? The 160-mile 36.8kWh Seat Mii (the VW e-Up! and Skoda Citigo-IV seem to not be on sale any longer), the 145 mile 32.6kWh Mini-e and the 137 mile 35.5kWh Honda-e. Seat is the cheapest, while The only EV Fiat 500 prior to this was sold from 2013 in a few American states (like California and Oregon) and had an 83kw motor with 87-ish mile range. They were also as orange as Mr Trump nee POTUS.

The 2021 500e features two battery sizes: the 23.7kWh CITY or the 42kWh LONG range, which can cover 115 miles (185km) and 199 miles (320km) respectively. All 500e models feature a watercooled FWD motor, an 11kW onboard charger and Fiat’s battery partner is Samsung for the lithium-ion cells. The Long Range cars have 87kw / 220nm / 117hp while the CITY cars make do with a 70kw motor.

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