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2013 Fiat 500e Officially Debuts in LA

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Fiat has taken the wraps off the electric version of the Fiat 500, the 2013 Fiat 500e. On the outside the Fiat 500e looks almost identical to the standard 500, but under the hood it's powered by an 111 horsepower electric motor and 24 kWh lithium-ion battery. Fiat has dubbed the electric drive system, "e-Drive", which is showcased by a studded, logo-adorned engine cover.

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The Fiat 500e will be able to travel around 80 miles between charges and delivers an estimated 116 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) city and 100 MPGe highway. Fiat wants to emphasize how "sporty" the 500e is and points out the fact that the electric car doesn't feature a performance reducing Eco button. The the Fiat 500e also incorporates a "creep" feature, which launches the car smoothly and assuredly as soon as its brake pedal is released, just like a vehicle powered by an idling engine.

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How long will it take to recharge? Fiat estimates that it will take less than 4 hours to fully recharge the 500e using a 240 volt outlet, but up to 24 hours on a 120 volt outlet.

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If you love the looks of the standard 500, you'll be happy that not much has changed on the 500e. The 500e's exterior features subtle tweaks that are meant to make it more aerodynamic. Designers developed wind-tunnel-sculpted front and rear fascias, exterior mirror caps, side sills, and introduced a liftgate mounted aero spoiler extending the vehicle's roofline.

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Fiat hasn't announced the pricing for the 2013 500e, but it's expected to arrive by this summer.

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