Electric car conversions can come in all shapes and sizes, but when the donor vehicle in question is already designed as a city car, does an EV version make sense?
German EV manufacturer Karabag thinks so, which is why it’s developed an electric derivative of the pint-sized Fiat 500 in Europe.
It uses a 37-horsepower electric motor, derived from those used in Linde forklift trucks and an 11-kilowatt-hour battery pack.
Although the cost of purchasing the electric Fiat 500 is rather steep at 34,999 euros (approximately $46,000), Karabag says that in the long run, motorists will reap substantial savings. Nonetheless, with a top speed of just 65 miles per hour and a range of 62 miles, the EV is hardly suitable for driving on major European roads or any great distance. Furthermore, the regular 0.9-liter MultiAir Euro spec 500 is already one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the market, capable of 65 miles per gallon.
These things notwithstanding, Karabag says that for those who primarily need to drive in urban centers in terms of overall running costs the electric 500 is cheaper to run than the internal combustion version, and the company cites a monthly rate of $482 versus $537.
However, that really isn’t that much in terms of savings, especially in view of the range restriction. Furthermore, given the number of lower priced EVs already available with significantly better range, it seems the all-electric 500 will likely have a limited audience, even in Europe. What are your thoughts?