The all-electric new Fiat 500 ensures drivers can put fears of range anxiety to the back of their minds thanks to new technology which conserves the vehicle’s battery power, reducing its overall consumption.
In a style similar to the low battery settings familiar to mobile phone users, the New 500 can automatically select its innovative, power-saving mode after detecting a low remaining driving range (approximately 30 miles).
Ensuring smoother, more gradual acceleration and limiting top speed to 50mph, this mode guides drivers to their destination by correcting behaviours which can lead to excessive energy consumption. The mode also encourages one-pedal driving, which contributes to a better use of the regenerative braking system on the New 500 – on an average urban drive, this feature can regenerate up to 30 per cent more energy than conventional braking.
The software further optimises the remaining battery capacity by deactivating the climate control system, including the heated seats, windscreen and mirrors.
The New 500 has two additional driving modes: Normal and Range. All three can be accessed via the selector on the centre console and are designed to assist and enhance the driving experience.
Normal mode is as close as possible to the experience of driving a petrol or diesel vehicle, in this mode the driver will enjoy the full responsive acceleration of the New 500. Range mode, meanwhile, offers a one-pedal driving experience combined with smoother acceleration, without limiting the top speed. In this mode, regenerative braking can be used to bring the New 500 to a complete stop, helping to manage energy efficiency.
While the power saving mode automatically activates when the car’s battery levels are low, it can be utilised at any time to help conserve the battery and extend a journey. Drivers also have the option to override the technology and select an alternative driving mode, or they can firmly press on the accelerator to override the 50mph limit and automatically return to Normal mode.
When drivers reach their nearest charging destination, the New 500 requires only five minutes of charging to achieve a range of up to 30 miles, proving more than sufficient for the average commute in the UK. Those requiring more range can charge the battery to 80 per cent capacity in just 35 minutes.