Fiat 500e Sales Account For 40% Of All Fiat 500 In U.S. In March

APR 5 2015 BY MARK KANE 36

The Fiat 500e's $199 Lease Deal Is Hard To Come By

The Fiat 500e’s $199 Lease Deal Is Hard To Come By

Fiat 500e suprised everybody with its performance in March reaching an estimated 1,310 sales in the US.

In the few prior months, we saw decline in sales year-over-year, so the surge of over 100% from 644 in March 2014 was indeed strange.

Believe it or not, the 500e is now one of the best selling electric cars in the US in 2015 (8% market share for plug-ins in three months), above the Chevrolet Volt! Well, it will be hard to preserve such a result in the longer term, but congrats to Fiat for moving so much electrified metal.

As it turns out, typically the 500e accounts for 10-20% of all Fiat 500 sales, but in March that figure jumped to a record high 40%.

Editor’s note: Fiat has chosen to not disclose 500e sales, so sales are now estimated based on state-level reports and incentives claimed from California (1,223 Clean Vehicle Rebates were claimed in March, double any previous period) and Oregon.

Fiat 500e sales in UK - March 2015

Fiat 500e sales in UK – March 2015

Categories: Fiat, Sales

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36 Comments on "Fiat 500e Sales Account For 40% Of All Fiat 500 In U.S. In March"

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Sergio Marchionne must be spitting feathers!

According to Sergio, Fiat is loosing $14k on each one. STOP BUYING 500e’s PEOPLE! You’re gonna kill the company by buying its cars. 😉

I think that was reverse psychology in action. Because if Fiat was really paying more than $40k to build a Fiat 500e they done a lousy job as an auto manufacturer when they choose their motor and battery suppliers. Electric cars have less parts and are simpler to build than cars with ICE. That saves a lot of money in the assembly line, in time, parts, wages, electricity and complex machines. Auto makers that don’t want to build electric cars still insist that the battery is very expensive, but this is an excuse, a MYTH. A 24kwh battery costs them less than $4k. If there is an auto maker paying more than this they should revise their suppliers and sign a contract with LG Chem or Samsung SDI. In a few years electric cars should be cheaper to build than ICE cars. But ICE auto makers will still say they are too slow, expensive to build, low range, golf cars, etc. Because one major thing. Planned obsolescence. A reliable car that only requires future battery upgrades it’s not desirable to auto makers. It’s better to have a complex car that when warranty ends cause so many problems that drivers choose… Read more »

“A 24kwh battery costs them less than $4k”
That’s <$167 / kWh, packaged cost, for the battery.
What's your verified source for this?
Yeah, I didn't think so.

You have to be very alert to catch some real information to provide a source since the manufacturers made the battery price a secret so they can keep on the battery is to expensive myth.

But I’ll give you two, Elon Musk and GS Yuasa’s President Makoto Yoda.

And that was a long ago, now we are in 2015.

Keep on believing the battery now costs more than $150/kwh, that’s what they want.

In a few years with the Tesla/Panasonic gigafactory and LG Chem factories in China that will drop to half. Samsung SDI will also be in top 3.

In the case of Tesla the battery reduction costs will also come from using bigger cells, because using small laptop cells make the battery pack more complex, time consuming to build and require a BMS that will have thousand of cells to manage and it’s like a vampire draining the battery.

The future for battery packs is the KISS principle used in BMW i3 and Miev. Cells only in series, not parallel.

But believe what you want, I don’t know nothing about what I’m writing about.

One more thing.

InsideEVs should make an article/investigation about real battery costs in the auto industry. There is a lot of digging to do to separate real information and misinformation.

Debunking the battery is expensive myth would oblige auto makers to admit they don’t want electric cars and face public disapproval or move on and build them.

Thats a good idea, how about it InsideEV?

That is a fool’s errand. At best you can write up some guesses. But all those battery prices are under NDA, fast-changing, and extremely well protected trade secrets.

I think public companies have this information available. Essentially, how much was sold and what their production related costs are.

I guess their costs are moving steadily lower as they get machinery in place and volumes rise. I spent $6500 for a 16kwh pack for my hobby car and probably the same for the much better pack in the iMiev back in 2012. That’s pretty expensive. If that cost can be cut in half (even without better density) by 2017 the cost advantage over an ICE, even with cheap gas (as it is now) will be hard to ignore.

MIT just did this study.
But, now I can’t find it.

Anyway the summary is battery cost dropping faster than expected.

10 pcs of 18650 cells with 3000mAh are offerred at banggood for 16,51$ -> if my calculations are correct that would be roughly
1,651$/(3Ah*3,7V)*1000= 148,74$/kWh

149 $/kWh

when ordered in bulks of 100x10pc price drops further to roughly 139 $/kWh

=> Myth busted?

– add packaging (is that done by human or robots?)
– add electronics (charge managment, load balancing, protection…)
– maybe a car manufacturer will order more than 1000 cells?
-quality of the cells (claim: 1800 cycles)

Ultra fire “batteries” are no where near their rated capacity. Find a real battery mfg. to base costs estimates on, Sir. You should know better.
Go to to see real tests of these and many other 18650 cells

The 24KWH battery costs more than $4K.

Perhaps they are down to $200/KWH for cells such that packs are close to $5K. But they are more likely to cost $8K or so at the pack level.

But even if we assume $10K for a 24KWH battery, they should be able to build affordable EVs now. $10K plus $15K for the rest of the car (about the same as an ICE economy car) would be $25K. And there are little EVs like the LEAF for a base $28K and the Spark EV for a base $27.5K.

Fiat, like almost all OEMs, moves as many EVs as they like each month based on pricing policy. (I’m including dealers in this generalization).

When pricing gets even close to an equivalent ICE price, EVs fly off the lot.

The fact that purchasers get an extra $10,000 off in incentives, and pay the equivalent of $1 per gallon for fuel, saving a couple extra hundred per month, just might have something to do with it.
A Fiat 500e at $1000 down and $86-$200 mo is the automotive bargain of the decade.

Fiat was/is also offering up to $3,500 in incentives as well on the 500e…which goes a long way to bringing the price down, especially inside a lease.

Apparently needed more CARB credits to offset the Jeeps.

Yep. I presume Fiat is losing a lot of money on each one of these but they needed the CARB credits.

I really don’t think they are losing as much as Sergio claims. And if they are losing that much money, it is their own fault for:
-Hiring expensive Bosch to do the conversion
-Getting a terrible price on batteries.
-Intentionally only build a few thousand thus not spreading the NRE across a larger number of cars
-Not building more EVs/PHEVs such that they could have spread the development costs among many more vehicles.

Do not believe the Sergio $14k claim.

Sergio (and other auto execs) are approaching EVs with the same intensity and love that power companies have for net metering.

Back in the early 60s Henry Ford bought a Mini and gave it to his costing department. They stripped it down and costed all of the pieces. They then reported back to Henry and gave him the amount THEY estimated it cost to produce each car. Henry didn’t believe it. He didn’t believe it so much that he telephoned Leonard Lord demanding to know how the hell he could make a profit on each Mini sold? Lord apparently replied, “Who said I am making a profit…?”
So BMC sold each Mini initially at a loss and $14,000 is a mere snippet of a loss compared to what Bugatti lost on each Veyron they made and sold!
Sometimes a company will take a hit in profits if that product gets them positive market exposure as this will often increase sales of other more profitable items.
Supermarkets call them ‘loss leaders’. They’ll discount items to the point that they are sold at a loss just to entice shoppers in through the doors hoping that they will attract shoppers that wouldn’t normally come in.


You are just speculating wildly.

Take the cost of a regular Fiat 500 that is sold for profit. Subtract the cost of the powertrain, then you have the cost of a glider. Add the actual production cost of the battery, motor and electronics. Which is less than selling price of the 500e.

How the auto industry works is that Fiat model (EV or ICE) starts with a huge sunk cost for development, and then the margin on every car that is sold is used to recover the sunk costs and eventually turn a profit.

So every 500e that is sold improves Fiat’s bottom line and Sergio is just acting for effect.

You are right that $3500 incentives on a lease is super helpful. It basically cuts $100/mo off the payment, but only if the residual is the same as before.

I predict that Fiat is going to overwhelmed by lease returns in 2018, and it will be the time to get a great deal on a used 500e.

Still it’s impressive a compliance BEV is showing such an increase in sales. It might be window dressing, but it shows Fiat they do sell.

We went to Fiat, apparently one day after the $94 sale. Our dealer was bored and out of stock, the car we looked at was already sold and they had no others.

This is not Podunk Indiana. This is in Silicon Valley, next to a Leaf dealership that is selling dozens of them.

The car is cute and affordable. The problem is between the ears of Fiat management. There is no rational explanation for it.

Is Podunk near Anywhere, Indiana?

Wasn’t the Podunk town founded by Silicon Valley VC? I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.

If auto executives would condescend to come down to the real world for the moment, they might see that this is essentially saying that,

“We, the Public, don’t like the usual fare you’ve been dishing out to us, but give us a Nice ELECTRIC vehicle, at an attractive price, and we’ll buy it above anything else you offer.”.

Attention you idiots at Cadillac. Bring back the few year old Caddy Escalade Hybrid intact. Put a somewhat bigger battery in it, or offer choices between 20 and 50 kwh at various price levels, and put a plug on it, with either GM’s existing 3.3 kw charger or else offer 2 of them as an option as Tesla used to.

You guys could have had the market to yourselves for the past 3 years. But better Late than Never. And tell that “Sales reducer in Chief” head of Cadillac that he might want to do something to actually move some cars, so he might start thinking about what people actually want.


You could be retiring CEO of BMW, Dr. Norbert Reithofer. who publicly stated he wanted the “i” car to be his legacy. Now that it is, I think he would rather be
Sergio Marchionne, the man who built a car that sells itself !

You have to wonder what the 1000 or so extra buyers in March would have done if there had been no deal? Were they waiting for a deal on anything electric or were they going to buy a leaf? I wonder if fait could reduce the price perminately if they could maintain 1000+ sales per month it might reduce the cost of the regular 500 which it shares most of the parts bin with. Who knows, would be great to have a replacement for the I-miev.

I’m one of those 1300+ 500e buyers. I wasn’t looking to get another EV. But when the deal was announced, I did the numbers on my college daughter’s 2003 Mercedes and realized I was paying more in gas alone than the $89 lease. Even when combined with a teenager’s insurance cost, the lease was a steal.

I think this lease frenzy shows that EVs are very close to becoming a break-out hit. If the car makers can push the battery prices down a bit more, offer more body styles, and offer a wide variety of ranges (from the current 80 miles city cars to 275 mile long range EVs) then EVs can take off big time. But we really still need a drop in battery prices.


Those $86/month lease deals caused a huge feeding frenzy.

I`m not one for leasing a car but this time was a no brainer. Gratz to the new owners.

Of course, Fiat is still only offering the car to a very small portion of the population. And only offering it in areas that get CARB credits. So you’ll know they are serious when the 500e is for sale in Texas.

…and Alabama. I made sure I stopped by my local Fiat Dealer when the 500e came out in CA, sat in a 500 on the showroom floor and then asked the sales manager when they’d be getting an electric one. I want them to know there is a market for a cute little car that can run off my solar arrays output!

Yes, the Fiat 500e is undoubtedly a “compliance car”. And Sergio has made his hatred of plug-in cars well-known.

But that said, even Chrysler has now announced that a plug-in minivan is currently in development. Apparently, cooler heads have prevailed at Fiat/Chrysler and they’ve realized they can’t just ignore the plug-in market without falling behind their competitors.