Ever since the announcement of the release of the new FIAT® 500e
*, our dedicated fans have been asking for more details on our first all-electric version of the FIAT 500.
First off, we love the fact that our fans are so excited for the all-new, all-electric 500e. Second, we’ve heard the clamors for more information about this innovative new 500 offering and are ready to deliver.
FIAT Backstage spoke with Brett Giem, who is our chief engineer on the 500e program (you can find part one of our interview here)
. Brett was involved in defining the program and now offers some of his insights on the FIAT 500e. Read on for the conclusion of our two-part interview with Brett.
FIAT Backstage (FB) – In your mind, what is the coolest technological feature of the 500e? How about comfort/entertainment features?
Brett Giem (BG)
– From an engineering viewpoint, I’d say the fully blended regenerative braking system. Why it’s cool is because even though it’s a key reason the 500e is so efficient, you don’t even know it’s there!
My favorite comfort feature, hands down, is the instant heat provided by the 4,000-watt heating system. I have been driving the 500e in Michigan since October 2012. Being able to jump in the car on a snowy day, start it up and have hot air immediately blasting from the ductwork is delightful! We didn’t under-design the air-conditioning either – the AC compressor is run by a high-voltage motor, so performance is no longer dependent on engine speed.
FB – You described the 500e as being able to eventually “learn and remember” your driving habits. Can you detail this line of thought?
BG – At the bottom of the cluster display is a range prediction number. The equation that calculates this number uses the average energy use per mile over the last 100 miles and last 5 miles of your driving. This accounts for the routes you drive most often, traffic during the time of driving, length of drive and overall driving habits. As you drive the 500e in your daily routine, the average energy numbers settle into values, which uniquely define your driving. Because this information is used to calculate the range prediction, we say that the car “learns” the driver.
FB – What do you like about the 500e Access app**, and how do you believe it will help drivers in their everyday driving?
BG – The app is less about driving and more about confidence and connection. Knowing the exact charge level and range at all times, knowing that the vehicle is charging or has completed recharging and knowing that it will alert you if something important has happened (like charging stopped unexpectedly) gives us the confidence to plan trips, make commitments and schedule our lives.
Connection with the app is about preparing our 500e for a drive through preconditioning, sending a destination to the TomTom navigation unit and tracking our energy savings. Without the app, 500e is a fun-to-drive car. With the app, 500e becomes a collaborator to get us through each day.
FB – What is your favorite 500e color combination?
BG – Love the orange and white combination. I think small cars should project a little panache, and this color gets attention! Although I must admit that the Grigio eSport is pretty cool looking, too.
FB – Anything else relevant to the 500e that you think our readers would like to know or might not know?
BG – 500e was engineered and validated to the same durability and climate requirements as the gas FIAT vehicles. The regenerative braking strategy uses very little friction braking – we expect very long brake pad life!
We’d like to thank Brett for taking the time to chat with us and shedding some new light on some of the great features of the all-new, all-electric FIAT 500e
. We like for our fans to know exactly how much effort and attention to detail go into not only the 500e, but also the entire FIAT 500 lineup. If you want to find out which FIAT 500 fits your lifestyle, head over to environmentallysexy.com
*The FIAT 500e is only available in California
**Initial term of 36 months from the date of retail sale. Receiving text messages from FIAT® Access Services requires an appropriate data plan from your mobile service provider. Standard messaging, data and other fees may be charged by your mobile service carrier. You may be charged by your mobile service carrier. You may change your communication preferences to limit or stop all text messages at any time. Services available only in the 48 continental United States. Use of the FIAT® Access service availability, vehicle integrity and vehicle location. Service will not be deactivated if not renewed prior to the end of the term. Service restoration after deactivation is subject to availability and may require dealer service at an additional cost to you