Electric cars: present or future? The thought of Fiat

Fiat believes in the future of the electric car, and has decided to drastically lower the FCA group's average CO2 emissions along the road to zero emissions.
That's why at the Geneva Motor Show 2019 FCA presented the new Fiat Centoventi, an electric utility concept that recalls the design of the most compact crossovers and lays the foundations for what could be the car of the future. A vehicle that focuses on electric and sustainable mobility with zero emissions.
Its first feature is the platform that allows it to accommodate up to four battery packs. Each module offers 100 km of range, the fifth is positioned between the front and rear seats.
But FCA's electric future is not just the Fiat Centoventi, but also and above all the New Fiat 500 electric, which will make its debut in 2020. This model will run on battery power only giving up on petrol and diesel engines.

Traveling towards the electric

When we talk about electric cars, we are usually also talking about the future. Indeed, many countries seem to increasingly believe in the advantages of this type of car, adopting incentive programmes for the purchase of electric cars. The electric car is one of the major trends in the automotive industry, a key component that is attracting everyone's interest. But what is an electric car, and why is it so important? The electric car is, quite simply, a car that uses electricity through charging, and not petrol or other fuels usually employed in cars. Unlike hybrid cars, electric cars have an absent polluting impact. Even the engine noise is absent, but an obligation has been introduced for manufacturers to equip electric cars with sound synthesizers to warn pedestrians of their arrival.
The acronym BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) is also used for the electric car, because the car is refuelled by recharging the batteries using electricity from the mains or other distribution systems. Recharging can take place using the charging stations spread around the country or with a domestic electrical outlet.
Recharging an electric car is easy and can be performed anywhere there is a socket or charging station. Public charging stations are also available at petrol stations, car parks, restaurants, hotels and other locations.
Electric vehicle charging times vary greatly depending on the type of charging, power and capacity of the battery.

Electric car: good for you and for the environment

Electric cars offer several advantages, both personal and environmental, especially in practical terms. Below, we try to summarise them in a few steps.

1. Free access to limited traffic areas.
As non-polluting vehicles, electric cars have free access to urban areas. In any case, however, you must still apply for permission from the local council.
2. Reduced fuel costs.
Electric recharging is much cheaper than any other fuel, with an average cost of less than 1 euro per 100 km. That is, up to about five times less than other fuels.
3. Ease of driving.
The electric car is perfect for city driving. You drive it with one foot and it provides instant acceleration.
4. Comfort.
The electric car produces almost no noise and offers a relaxing environment, which significantly reduces the stress of driving.
5. Maintenance.
The mechanics of electric cars, from the engine to the transmission, are much simpler than those of a traditional car, because there are fewer components and fewer liquids to refill. Thanks to regenerative braking, even the brakes are used less than in traditional cars.

Costs and time of recharging

The charging time of electric car batteries varies depending on the battery type and how it is connected to the mains.
One of the main challenges for car manufacturers interested in electric cars is the research and development of batteries allowing for range and quick recharging. The batteries of modern electric cars, mostly lithium (Li) batteries, are quite durable.
Public recharging through charging stations is paid by subscription, with a fixed cost of 25 euros per month. If you prefer to recharge from home, there is a rental fee for an additional meter, from 60 euros per month. Alternatively, you can charge your car through a normal power outlet, and the costs will thus go on your electricity bill.
On average, a plug-in hybrid vehicle can travel for about 25 kilometres for one euro and an hour and a half's charging, and an eight-hour charge of a fully electric car costs 5 euros.

Recharging at your fingertips

Generally, electric car charging times depend on their capacity. And above all on the power (kW) of the recharge and the maximum power of the car charger.
The simplest and commonest way to charge an electric car is to connect it to the normal mains supply, but to obtain faster charging methods, the owner of an electric car need for access to wallboxes and charging stations. Wallbox refers to the option to install at home, or at one's workplace, a device capable of recharging the car quickly.
Fast charge stations are located in strategic city locations, in the city centre, or near tourist attractions and shopping malls. They have very high power ratings, ranging from 50 to 150 kW.
Electric vehicles can be charged in public areas using alternating current (Modes 2 and 3) or direct current (Mode 4). The Mode 2 cable is usually supplied with the electric vehicle and can be used to connect to some public columns.
There is no pre-defined time for charging an electric car. It can take half an hour or up to 12 hours depending on the kWh of the vehicle battery and also depends on the power of the charging point and the car charger. Charging times are also affected by the temperature of the external environment and the state/level of degradation of the battery. It is possible that the charging speed is not always constant over time: once the threshold of about 80% has been reached, the charging power may drop.

The future is closer

Fiat's future is increasingly electric. Indeed, electrifying. The year 2020 will be the turning point for the FCA group.
The zero-emission variant of the Italian citycar should be part of a totally new project, which should also include the new generation of Panda.
The company recently announced the extension of the solidarity contracts until the end of 2019 to prepare the production lines for the new car.
The new electric Fiat 500 will make its debut in 2020. It will be a totally new model, which will only run on battery power and will not use traditional petrol and diesel engines. The electric Fiat 500 will be produced at the Mirafiori plant in Turin and will be equipped with batteries developed with Samsung.

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