When Fiat revealed the 500e at the L.A. Auto Show, it estimated that its first U.S. electric car would score a miles per gallon gasoline equivalent fuel economy of 116 mpg-e city, 100 mpg-e highway and 108 mpg-e. The official Environmental Protection Agency rating is in, and it's significantly better than estimated.
The EPA rates the 2013 500e at 122 mpg-e city, 108 mpg-e highway and 116 mpg-e combined. Fiat says that the 108 mpg-e highway figure is the best among U.S.-market electric vehicles. The combined figure falls short of a couple competitors, including the Honda Fit EV (118 mpg-e) and Scion iQ (121 mpg-e).
The 500e's range also gets a boost from the EPA. The agency's testing indicates the car will travel 87 miles (140 km) per charge, which bests Fiat's estimated 80 miles (129 km). Fiat is also happy to report that the annual fuel costs are estimated at an even $500. The mini-EV's consumption is 29 kilowatt hours (kWh) per 100 miles.
The 500e is powered by a 111-hp electric motor. Fiat added a series of eight aerodynamic improvements to the car to boost aerodynamics by 13 percent.
The 500e will go on sale in California in the second quarter.