This is the first all-electric 500 : it's called 'The First'
But first, there are a couple of things worth noting
The first thing you need to know about the first electric 500 called 'The First', is that it's not actually called 'The First', and it is technically not the first all-electric 500. They (sort of) say it is because the previous model was only available in a couple of US states and, as far as electric mobility goes, it was a bit terrible. This, on the other hand, is a proper electric car, a proper product, part of a proper line-up of cars, and it is a convertible.
It is called 'La Prima' and yes, that is indeed Italian for 'the first', but it also means that the brochure will read 'Fiat 500 La Prima' anywhere in the world, including in non-Italian speaking countries. Which is basically all of them except Argentina, bits of Switzerland and Albania, and Italy.
Now, some might say that the La Prima is just another washed up version of the 500 and... they'd be right. Because it is. But the good news is it does come with a couple of interesting features that sort of justify the price and definitely makes it feel fresher and better and newer than the original Fiat 500 from 2007.
There are new, dedicated full LED lights and new vegan seats, the dashboard is (finally) completely different and a million times better, with Apple CarPlay . There are nic(er) 17-inch wheels and the hatchback version is fitted as standard with a panoramic sunroof. It also comes with a respectable number of ADAS, including adaptive cruise control with lane control, 360° drone view and blind spot assist and an HD rear parking camera.
The electric engine that powers it develops 118 hp and 147 lb-ft and while the limited top speed (115 mph) is expected, a 0-60 time of 9 seconds it not exactly ideal. The main advantage of the electric powertrain is instant torque so if 9 seconds is the best it can do, I can only assume that's because they've made it too heavy. And I'm right, actually, because while the standard 500 tips the scales at around 900 kg, the La Prima weighs a whopping 1,355 kg, which is way too much for a small city car.
Then there's the question of range and charging times. La Prima comes with a 42 kWh battery pack and Fiat says the car has an expected range of 199 miles (the Renault Zoe, for the sake of argument, does 50 miles more than that) and, with fast charging, it's going to take 35 minutes to get to 80 % of the charge. Still not great.
Only 500 units are available, all sold out apparently, with a price tag of around £29,000.