Analysis: Fast Charging Of The New Fiat 500 Electric

It charges faster than other small electric cars.

Fiat 500 electric is one of the latest electric cars on the market in Europe. Today we will take a look at the fast charging capabilities of the 42 kWh battery version (there is also a smaller 23.8 kWh battery option).

The new Fiat 500 is equipped with a CCS Combo 2 inlet and according to our analysis, it has very good charging characteristics.

Most of the EV enthusiasts in the U.S. know the other electric 500 – the Fiat 500e (without DC charging), but it was a different car, offered just to get some EV credits.

Data for this analysis comes from Fastned’s fast-charging network, which is also an invaluable source for info about charging.

Let’s get into it.

Charging power vs state-of-charge (SOC)

The Fiat 500 electric with a 42 kWh battery can charge at up to about 85 kW according to the manufacturer and the recorded charging curve proves that 85 kW is the peak value around 20% SOC.

Fastned explains that it’s the session for a car with the battery in optimal conditions (temperature of around 30°C).

The shape of the charging curve is quite good (no big drops after the peak), but there is some artificial (programmed) reduction after 85% SOC from about 45 kW to just about 12 kW. It’s very low power for DC charging, comparable with the 11 kW three-phase on-board charger.

The smaller battery version (23.8 kWh) charges at up to 50 kW according to Fiat.

Comparison of charging power

We will compare the Fiat 500 electric fast-charging results with several other small electric models, that were already analyzed:

  • Renault ZOE Z.E. 50 2019
  • Peugeot e-208 2020
  • BMW i3 (42 kWh) 2019
  • MINI Cooper SE 2020 (together with i3)
  • Volkswagen e-Up!, Škoda CITIGOe iV, SEAT Mii Electric (2020)

As we can see in the first chart, the Fiat 500 electric is the best of the six EVs, aside from two SOC windows (0-20% and around 40-50%), when the Peugeot e-208 is better. The e-208 has a noticeably larger 50 kWh battery though.

What we found is that the average charging power, in 20-80% SOC window, is around 63 kW, much higher than in the case of the other models.

DC Fast Charging Comparison by InsideEVs
Model
[data source]
Drive /
Battery
(kWh)
Max
Power
Avg
Power
(20-80%)
2021 Fiat 500 electric (42 kWh)
[Fastned]
FWD
42 kWh
85 kW 63 kW
2019 Renault ZOE Z.E. 50
[Fastned]
FWD
55 kWh
46 kW 35 kW
2020 Peugeot e-208 (all PSA e-CMP 50 kWh)
[Fastned]
FWD
50 kWh
99 kW 53 kW
2019 BMW i3 (42 kWh)
[Fastned]
RWD
42.2 kWh
50 kW 47 kW
2020 MINI Cooper SE
[Fastned]
FWD
32.6 kWh
49 kW 45 kW
2020 Volkswagen e-Up! (2nd model evolution)
[Fastned]
FWD
36.8 kWh
37 kW 29 kW

Comparison of C-rate

The data reveal also that the Fiat 500 electric’s battery during fast charging under higher load than in the case of most of the other models (at least for most of the time).

It means that the manufacturer did whatever possible to achieve good charging characteristics.

The average (20-80% SOC) is 1.5, only the MINI Cooper SE is close at 1.4.

DC Fast Charging Comparison by InsideEVs
Model
[data source]
Drive /
Battery
(kWh)
Max
Power
Avg
Power
(20-80%)
Max
C-Rate
Avg
C-Rate
(20-80%)
2021 Fiat 500 electric (42 kWh)
[Fastned]
FWD
42 kWh
85 kW 63 kW 2 1.5
2019 Renault ZOE Z.E. 50
[Fastned]
FWD
55 kWh
46 kW 35 kW 0.8 0.6
2020 Peugeot e-208 (all PSA e-CMP 50 kWh)
[Fastned]
FWD
50 kWh
99 kW 53 kW 2 1.1
2019 BMW i3 (42 kWh)
[Fastned]
RWD
42.2 kWh
50 kW 47 kW 1.2 1.1
2020 MINI Cooper SE
[Fastned]
FWD
32.6 kWh
49 kW 45 kW 1.5 1.4
2020 Volkswagen e-Up! (2nd model evolution)
[Fastned]
FWD
36.8 kWh
37 kW 29 kW 1 0.8

Comparison of range replenishing speed

When comparing the range replenishing speed, the Fiat 500 electric beat the other small EVs on the market.

The average of 9 km/minute (5.6 miles/minute) in 20-80% SOC window is much higher than for any other model.

Of course, some EVs like the Peugeot e-208 maybe could get a higher average, if charging would start at a higher SOC, but probably even then it would remain behind the Fiat 500 electric.

DC Fast Charging Comparison by InsideEVs
Model
[data source]
Drive /
Battery
(kWh)
Avg
Power
(20-80%)
WLTP range
rep. rate
(20-80%)
2021 Fiat 500 electric (42 kWh)
[Fastned]
FWD
42 kWh
63 kW 9 km/min
5.6 mi/min
2019 Renault ZOE Z.E. 50
[Fastned]
FWD
55 kWh
35 kW 4.4 km/min
2.7 mi/min
2020 Peugeot e-208
[Fastned]
FWD
50 kWh
53 kW 6.7 km/min
4.2 mi/min
2019 BMW i3 (42 kWh)
[Fastned]
RWD
42.2 kWh
47 kW 6.4 km/min
4 mi/min
2020 MINI Cooper SE
[Fastned]
FWD
32.6 kWh
45 kW 6.1 km/min
3.8 mi/min
2020 Volkswagen e-Up! (2nd model evolution)
[Fastned]
FWD
36.8 kWh
29 kW 3.9 km/min
2.4 mi/min

Conclusions

The results of the DC fast charging analysis of the Fiat 500 electric (42 kWh) are very surprising, as we initially did not realize that it’s so good in relation to the battery pack size and the purpose of the car.

The charging power and shape of the charging curve are good, as well as the range replenishing speed. The only downfall is a sharp reduction of power after 85% SOC, but it’s not a big problem.

Fiat really did a great job by raising the bar a little bit higher and now it will probably become one of the main points of reference for all small EVs.

General info:

* Some values on the charts are estimated from the data source.

** Temperature of the battery cells might highly negatively affect charging capabilities. We don’t have data about temperatures of the battery at the beginning and during the charging process. In cold or hot weather, as well as after driving very dynamically, charging power might be significantly lower than shown on the charts (in extreme cases charging might be impossible until the battery temperature will not return to an acceptable level).

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