I Drove an Electric Car and I Liked It
As a lifetime combustion engine enthusiast and abuser, I have come to loth anything containing any form of an electric engine. Stemming from having driven hybrid cars, which till this day I deem as terrible excuses for a car.
My poor experience with hybrid cars left a revolting taste in my mouth at the mention of electric cars, that is, until I drove the Fiat 500e at this year’s Orange County Auto Show.
The biggest detractor for me in hybrid cars is the characteristically poor transition between the gas powered engine and the electric variant. So to say it’s clunky would be understating the overwhelmingly nauseating feeling when a hybrid switches between both engines.
The Fiat 500e’s all electric engine is anything but clunky. Although I couldn’t help shake the feeling that I was driving an overpowered golf cart, the car felt remarkably smooth and responsive. With virtually no lag between pressing down on the gas paddle to feeling that surprising jolt in power—thanks to having nothing but torque—was extremely satisfying to this horsepower loving guy.
Since there aren’t any gears in the electric motor, you don’t feel the jolt of the transmission switching gears, giving you a luxury car like feel in a tiny package.
Which brings me to the size of the Fiat. It’s small, no denying that. But the headroom and even elbow room between two dudes at about 6 feet was fine. More than fine, it was rather comfortable. Kudos to the designers for making a car this small, yet provide some level of comfort for taller folks.
This was also my first time behind the wheel of a Fiat. Overall, I left with a sense that this car was built with thoughtful quality and although there wasn’t a shortage of plastics, the materials on the inside felt more like the nice casing of a smartphone, and not like some cheep toy.
With the sticker price of about $31k it would be difficult to recommend this vehicle to someone, however, with all the vehicle incentives offered thanks to our government, it may actually be a good buy.