We're not sure how many Fiat 500e electric vehicles have been sold since its April launch in the US. We just hear they're not selling any more in California this year.

That's what Wards Auto is reporting, quoting Fiat North America chief Jason Stoicevich at a launch event for the Fiat 500L. Stoicevich noted that – setting the EV aside – the Golden State is Fiat's largest US market, accounting for about one out of seven Fiat dealerships in the US. Add in an affordable, likeable electric model and you've got the recipe for success. Fiat announced its $199-a-month lease rates in April.

California has been good to limited-production EVs. The Los Angeles Times reported earlier this month that Honda had sold out of its Fit EV, while a Ford executive recently said its plug-in hybrids were "flying off the shelves" in California.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was very excited that my 500e arrived at my dealer Fiat of Burlingame July 16 but that quickly turned to disappointment and anger when the dealer placed the lease papers in front of me. Months ago I put a deposit on the base model (orange on white with no sunroof or sport package) and asked for the $199 lease but the dealer said it was $263.50! Adding tax to the $199 lease gets it to $216.16 but this was $47.34 higher. I took issue with this and the dealer used their usual misleading monthly payment language 'it's only $47 more' to which I replied but that's an outrageous 22% increase – that's the same as jacking the price of the car from $33 to $40k! I told this dealer the $199 is clearly false advertising and that he took my deposit on the $199 deal to which he replied that you might have told us you wanted the $199 deal but that is not on your deposit receipt. I then said its advertised on the Fiat website in bold letters and he then drew my attention to a little pop up window that only appears when you mouse over a tiny + which says among other things "Offer requires dealer contribution". Of course they refused to make that contribution saying that 'the car is sold out and I have a waiting list, so you want it or not?' I'm pretty sure that no dealers are 'contributing' so no one can get the $199 price so it is a lie and false advertising. The sad thing is that $264 is still good lease on a great $33k car and this nasty deceitful practice just unnecessarily kills much of the goodwill and brand equity the car's launch created. Be forewarned, Trent
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Oh, and I can assure you none have been delivered yet. I'd have seen one around here if so, and I haven't. So they apparently sold out before deliveries started. I'm not so sure about the Fit EV sell out, cars have just started to arrive at dealers again. Maybe they're presold (leased) though.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      It may be a compliance car, but it is a cool one. I just wish Chevy could have made the Spark look as sporty as the 500e. Maybe if the Sparks headlights were just a bit bigger...
        Reggie
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        GM now have the Adam thats similar to the Fiat 500, maybe GM should bring it Stateside as a rebadged Chevy, because its small light ideal perfect as an EV. Classic little Retro Fiat 500e was always gonna be sold out, when it hits Europe sales will be massive put the EV on car buying map.
          stumpy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Reggie
          Adam EV seems kind of punny, don't you think? :P
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        Surprise . . . the Spark has apparently been popular. The gas Spark has sold 35% more than their projections. I suspect the compliance Spark EV should be able to sell pretty well . . . not as well as the 500e but it should move some inventory.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          It is a bit odd. And I was surprised to learn it was selling so well. But I've seen a few around now . . . and it is not bad. Not as cute as the Fiat 500 but it is much better than I thought it would be like.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          The Spark is not bad looking, IMHO. It's biggest problem is it looks very similar in some ways to the Sonic and the Sonic is actually pretty good looking. Compare the mediocre-looking Spark to it and you're going to have some negativity.
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Spec
          Spec, I am happy to see the Spark do well, I just used to wish so many of GM's cars didn't look so stodgy. And then the Spark came out and it definitely wasn't stodgy, it was just, odd. The Cruze, Malibu, Impala all look kind of dated. I like the Volts look, and the new Corvette looks a bit musclebound, but in a good way.
        taser it
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        The Spark absolutely dusts the Fiat in performance and price. The Fiat 500e is the Anna Kornikova of EVs. Not going to win any contests, but fun to look at.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Colbert_I_Called_It.gif The Fiat 500 is a hip little car, it had good specs, and the price was low. Perhaps the Chrysler CEO will give EVs a bit more respect . . . they are not quite as hard to sell as he makes it out.
        1guyin10
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        As soon as the costs come down to the point that they can actually make money building them I am sure it will have his full attention. The unfortunate reality is that the components cost more than they can ever hope to sell the car for. It is understandable that he would bristle at being forced to sell product at a large loss. Personally I think it would be more valuable to everyone to have Fiat bring over its multi-fuel technology, which is already developed and which it is very good at.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @1guyin10
          Spec: So for obscure reasons they are lying, when they could be coining it in if they were only prepared to? GM also is entirely mistaken when it said that it had to redevelop a whole sheaf of components for the Volt. If it is that easy, you might as well get cracking on it.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @1guyin10
          I'm not convince that the components "cost more than they can ever hope to sell the car for". Most of the components are the same as the normal Fiat 500. So start with the cost of Fiat 500. Then subtract out the cost of the ICE parts . . . engine, transmission, fuel system, exhaust system, engine control, radiator, etc. Then add in the cost of the EV drivetrain . . . electric motor, controller, gearbox, charger, etc. I suspect the EV drivetrain (without the battery) is probably around the same price of the ICE drivetrain. Maybe a little bit more but with mass production, they should be same if not cheaper. The only difference then is the battery. It is a 24KWH battery. 24* $400/KWH = $9600. So if they charge $10K more than the normal Fiat 500, the component costs should be around equal.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @1guyin10
          Nice strawman, DaveMart. I'm not saying they are as profitable or even profitable. I said that I'm not convinced "the components cost more than they can ever hope to sell the car for". Nissan sells the base Leaf S at $28.8K before any tax-credit . . . and they sell them all over the USA for that price so they are not just doing it for the ZEV credit. They are doing it to make money. It can be done. Chrysler disproved their own case about no one allegedly wanting these cars by selling all their cars sight-unseen. They could have obviously sold them for a higher price.
        taser it
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        The object of selling a car, is to make a profit. They are not making a profit.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @taser it
          The object of the incentive programs is to increase the market size for EVs large enough such that mass-market cost reductions kick in and they become profitable. They are not quite there yet but they are getting very close. (It is also to provide incentives for vehicles that are extremely efficient with energy, produce no local emissions, can be be run on very clean energy such as solar, wind, hydro, etc.) The technique has worked wonders for the PV industry. The cost of PV panels has crashed down real low. THAT is what bankrupted Solyndra . . . better PV panels. Solar PV is now so cheap that if you install yourself, you can provide your own power for less than what the utility charges you! That is game-changing.
      Koenigsegg
      • 2 Years Ago
      they are not completely sold out, there will still be a few available to people on the list
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      Compliance
        Spec
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        So? Gotta start somewhere. And maybe if they have a good experience with it, they'll build more of them than they anticipated. There are more ZEV states that I'm sure would love to get this car.
        brotherkenny4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Yes, but don't they look stupid? I mean, they (Fiat) can't make money on something wth high demand? What does that say about them as business people?
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          It says that they can add up. If you make a loss selling one, you don't make it up by volume.
          Vlad
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          @DaveMart: Tesla sure figured it first, but it's not like its success is impossible to replicate. Start making luxury EVs with good performance characteristics - it is much easier to "hide" battery cost in a car that competes with other $100K cars than in a car that competes with $20K cars.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          So have you guys looked at Chrysler's books? Do you know how much these cars cost? No . . . you don't. But you are quite eager to believe a statement made two years ago by a guy who hates EVs, when the products wasn't even fully designed yet, before the battery price drops of the last couple years, and before the product price was even determined. I tend to think it was an off-the-cuff remark bashing EVs and not a true accounting of the current situation. I do assume they are losing money on the cars . . . but I doubt is it $10K.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          @Spec: If they are making a $10,000 loss on each car, then to break even with greater volume they would have to ramp up to at least the tens of thousands a year level, similar to the levels of Nissan. No-one though, and especially not Nissan, is saying that they are making money on the Leaf. They just have a lower loss per unit distributed across more cars. With the possible exception of Tesla at the top end of the market no-one has figures out how to make money selling electric cars yet, even with the subsidy, so it is not as simple as saying Fiat should ramp production to reduce costs and then will stop losing money on them. It is not even as though Fiat is a high emission manufacturer. They are the biggest producer of natural gas cars in the world, and they think that is the way to go. NG cars though are low, not zero, emission, and so Fiat is being forced down a path they don't think is right at this time, and most certainly aren't going to ramp BEV production hard enough to attempt to do what no other major manufacturer at all has managed to do, make money from electric cars. They will stick with the known quantity of a $10k loss per car, not try to double down on the bet.
          taser it
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          Yeah, because the answer to making money on a product that loses $10k per unit is to sell more of them.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          Well it depends on what is causing that loss. If it is component costs then it may be difficult to eliminate it still possible by increasing volume and thereby driving down the cost of the components. If it NRE (Non recurring engineering) expenses then that does get cheaper for each additional car built. So you can make it up in volume depending on the situation.
        Ryan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        I'm waiting for a company to make a 100 wh/mi electric car. Then any level 2 charger will be a 'fast charger' with the correct charger in the car. Oh yeah, they should want to make more of them to keep up with demand and to reduce the cost of the vehicles since they should want to sell as many as possible.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          That would have to be a really efficient car. An extremely light-weigh and aerodynamic 2-seater.
          Joseph Brody
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ryan
          The Aptera 2e was estimated 80 watt-hours/mi at 55 mph. Small, light and areo---- simple.
      Obei
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've been waiting for delivery of my Hond Fit EV... it's been over a month now. These are all BS to me. SOLD OUT? I've not seen one of these EV's on the road... okay maybe 1 Fit EV which was perhaps a tester of some sort because of the DLR license plate.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Obei
        Both are in very low production. I think Honda only wanted to make 1200 Fit EVs over the 2-3 year trial period.
      Deneway
      • 2 Years Ago
      Credits can go. Bet prices would drop to compensate.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      With over a half dozen different pure EVs on the market, and selling like hotcakes; the tax credits have served their purpose. Time to kill it. $16T national debt, working on $17T.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        Right wing mentality: If something is working, kill it.
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          rak, I am pretty conservative but I think that 200,000 BEV's or EREV's per car maker is a pretty reasonable way to jumpstart an industry that was not going to happen without the tax credit. It is in our national interests to build the economies of scale with regards to BEV's and EREV's, we simply can not prosper if we are buying nearly a billion dollars worth of oil from other countries, every day, as we were just a few years ago. But the fact of the matter is, we can not spend as much money as our government has been spending for the past 10 years, which is why Pork Busters was so popular among the conservatives starting around 2005. We need our government to spend less money, or our economy will simply crash. The tax credit was signed by George W Bush (energy independence and security act) back in 2007, and by 2020 it may be time to end it.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          @EVnerdGene California has a surplus right now. It is not to help those people that can afford a $70K-$90K car. It is to increase the size of the battery market. It also creates a used market of even cheaper EVs so other people can enjoy them. I agree it shouldn't go 30 years. But we are at what now . . 2 years. How about we AT LEAST go through the numbers in the original legislation. The current deficit is much closer to $1/2T than $2Trillion. And no, we should not worry about them. The government can never technically default since it can create its own currency. Yes, that can cause inflation but that has clearly not been a problem at all. Don't fall for the false analogy of the country's budget being like a family budget. They are not the same. The government NEEDS to add currency or else there will be a deflationary death spiral.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          So you are saying that without the $7500 fed credit (and even more in some states like bleeding-red California), that it would 'kill" Tesla and Tesla sales? That people that can afford a $70k-$90k car need help? or, , , should we just continue for 30-something years like the ethanol subsidies ? That we shouldn't be concerned with deficits closing in on $2T every year and quantitative easing ? You'd fit right in; DON'T PASS GO, head to Washington DC right now.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          @Spec California predicts they might have a surplus - due to increasing taxes on the dastardly rich last year. Maybe, maybe not. Usually when you raise taxes; it has the opposite affect on revenue. I can remember the credits in 2000. Good little boost to the hybrid market? Or did more people buy Prii so they could use the carpool lanes? I might seem like a wise-ass, but it was true in SoCal; I was there and read the studies. So like I was saying; does it really make a difference to a Tesla buyer whether or not they get the revenue-reducing credit? Not really. Butt they sure love the pass to the carpool lane. All I can do is shake my head with your comments about the deficit and debt. This kind of logic has gotten us into this
        Joseph Brody
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        I'm left leaning and I would agree to dump the tax credits on EV, but increase fuel taxes to the point where they pay completely for the roads they drive on. Currently fuel taxes only pay for 1/3rd of the road cost and other taxes like sales, property and income are stuck with the bill. The government subsidized roads is a intensive for traffic, sprawl, pollution and commuter cities-which means redundant government services and more taxes! Economically is is better discourage what you don't want - fossil fuel- through higher taxes than tax credits for EVs. EVs don't pollute the cities, so they dont pay fuel taxes other than electricity taxes. Since fuel taxes will be covering the roads, other taxes can lower. Now that drivers will be paying for some more of the external costs of driving, they will flock to the much cheaper EVs.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joseph Brody
          I agree with Joseph Brody. I have never understood why we, as a society, want to encourage burning fossil fuels. I would add that governments subsidize roads while simultaneously railways have to pay their own way *and* pay property tax. It's an interesting (read: insane) system.
          Joseph Brody
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joseph Brody
          http://video.mit.edu/watch/why-bad-things-happen-to-good-technologies-9329/
          archos
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joseph Brody
          Blah. You're not left leaning. You suggested they kill a tax credit (already WEAK because its a tax credit and not a rebate) AND that a regressive tax be introduced to push people to a new car. Well not everyone can afford an new car let alone even a cheap EV. So lets recap. Cut an already weak incentive to buyers (because a few very limited production EVs sold out) and introduce a tax that will burden the poorest the greatest. Oh, you progressive left leaning tea bagger you. Or we could ignore nonsense like this, make the credit a rebate, and guarantee it till 1.5million EVs are on the roads. This would make EVs more attractive to lower income buyers who maybe can't capitalize on the full tax credit, while making higher EV production more attractive to automakers who can count on the semi locked-in EV credit.
          Spec
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joseph Brody
          I could agree with dumping the tax-credit if we had a European style high fuel tax. But that will never happen in the USA.
      Smoking_dude
      • 2 Years Ago
      so they are sold out. and the last time they told us they won't make money with it and they need to sell more to do so. so why is it sold out. I don't understand this "basic market" principle. still it is a very good sign for the ev movement. I hope that they will come to the road and that fiat has the balls to stick with it.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Without any actual figures it's hard to gauge what this means at all. I know it's an attractive car to many people, but we have no idea how many from this data.
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