Personally, I think the overhype regarding EV range is simply that — overhype. Simply by spending a little bit of money to rent a car when you are going on a long trip, you can avoid thinking about the issue and buy a much cheaper electric car. If you’ve got nice friends and family, you may even be able to swap cars or borrow a car from someone for those long trips, and skip the rental altogether. (And, of course, you could always use the train!)
While consumers can do all that, car companies can take an equally simply step and simply offer free rentals to its EV customers. That’s what Fiat’s doing for its Fiat 500e customers:
Fiat’s 500e is looking to shake some things up, not the least of which is how the company deals with customers wanting to take long-distance trips. To skip to any specific section of this post, click the links below.
Free Car Rental
Fiat has decided to mitigate range anxiety by partnering with the car-rental giant Enterprise to give Fiat 500e customers free access to gasoline-fueled rental cars for unusually long trips.
500e customers will be allowed to rent Enterprise cars for 12 days per year for the first three years that they own their 500e vehicles as part of its ePass program.
The 500e is slated for arrival in California this summer. For now, the program will be offered at 25 of the dealerships where the 500e vehicle will be sold.
How Fiat 500e Range Compares To Its Competition
The Fiat 500e is competitive with the rest of the EVs on the market. It can travel 87 miles per charge, which exceeds the Nissan Leaf’s range by 14 miles. It has more than twice the Chevy Volt’s electric range, which is 35 miles per charge, but the Chevy Volt includes a backup generator.
“We know we’ve got a great car,” Fiat’s North American brand chief, Tom Kuniskis, told Automotive News. “But I still can’t get a guy to New York to visit his grandma for Easter.”
He also said that the 500e is claimed to be a viable alternative to the ordinary 500, and because of that, it needs to be able to travel as far as the 500 (even if that involves free car rentals).