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Fast Charging Of The New Fiat 500 Electric

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.

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.

Fiat says that charging from 0 to 80% should take about 35 minutes.

To add 100 km (62 miles) of range, Fiat 500 electric needs about 9-10 minutes (if starting at 10-20% SOC). To add 200 km the time increases to about 21-24 minutes (starting at 10-20% SOC).

The average power in the very important range from 20% to 80% SOC is around 63 kW, which is 74% of the peak value.

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The peak C-rate* – charging power in relation to the total battery capacity of 42 kWh – is about 2.0C.

The average C-rate when charging from 20% to 80% SOC is 1.5C. Both values are good.

*C-rate tells us how the charging power relates to the battery pack capacity. For example: 1C is 1-hour charging power (current), when the power value in kW is equal to the battery pack capacity in kWh. 2C would be enough to recharge in half an hour.

The net battery capacity of 37.3 kWh stands for about 89% of the total battery capacity.

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The rate of range replenishing depends on the energy consumption and the energy consumption depends on the use case. For the Fiat 500 electric we will use WLTP range ratings.

  • WLTP
    Taking into consideration the WLTP range of 320 km (199 miles) and available battery capacity of 37.3 kWh, we can assume energy consumption of 117 Wh/km (188 Wh/mile).
    The effective average speed of range replenishing when charging from 20% to 80% SOC would be then 9 km/minute (5.6 miles/minute).

The rate of range replenishing is very good – about 10 km/min (6.2 miles/min) or more, up to over 50% SOC. It’s a combination of relatively high power of charging and good efficiency.

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Comparisons with other EVs

Peugeot e-208 at a Fastned fast charging station

Peugeot e-208 at a Fastned fast charging station

2018 BMW i3

BMW i3

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

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.

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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

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.

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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

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

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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

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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