Answering Your Electric Car Questions: Fiat 500e Review, Charging Stations, Accessing More Data

At Transport Evolved towers we get a lot of emails from current and potential electric car owners asking us what we think about a specific car, piece of technology or asking us how a certain type of device works. We try our best to answer as many of these questions as possible, but from time to time we come across questions that we think deserve a wider audience. This is our semi-regular feature where we answer these questions for you.

Will Mark and Nikki ever get to experience the Fiat 500e?

Will Mark and Nikki ever get to experience the Fiat 500e?

Thanks for your reviews of new EVs. Any chance you have reviewed (or will be reviewing) the Fiat 500e?

Thank you for watching our reviews. Both Nikki and Mark would love to have a go in the Fiat 500e and give it a review but as this car is a compliance car and only sold in selected markets in the US, it is unlikely it is something we will be able to bring to you.

Fiat has no plans to bring this car our in Europe, which we believe is a shame.

We have a few contacts in the US and will work with them to try and bring a review to you in a similar style to that of Nikki and Mark in the UK.

How do you know how fast you will charge when you plug in?

How do you know how fast you will charge when you plug in?

Just a thought will my Leaf only charge at 3kw if I am using the 22kw charger?

The quick answer to this is: Yes.

The longer answer is: Charging speed when using alternating current is dictated by two factors, the power of the charging station and the power of your car’s onboard charger. A Nissan LEAF with a 3.3kW onboard charger can only ever charge at a maximum of 3.3kW from an AC charging station even if that charging station is able to provide more power as per your example.

Conversely, if a ZOE with its 43kW onboard charger plugs into the same 22kW charger, it will only charge at 22kW. It won’t try to ‘pull’ more power than the charger is capable of providing.

In the simplest terms, a charging station and a car will ‘talk’ to each other to agree the safest and highest charging rate both support.

This small box can help you get more information from your electric car.

This small box can help you get more information from your electric car.

Sometime back you did a show with a group that was working on open sourced devices to access an EVs various settings. At the time they had not developed the device to access anything but the basic telemetry of the Nissan LEAF. Nikki, I think you have a device from these guys. Do you remember who I am referring too?

There are a number of people working on projects to allow drivers to see more information from their cars. From simple information like the current state of charge of the car as a percentage (something not possible in cars like the first generation LEAF) to much more complex information like individual battery cell voltages.

Depending on the various technology you have access to — iOS, Android etc — and how technical you are there are various options for the Nissan LEAF.

OpenOVMS – Originally designed for the Tesla Roadster, more and more electric cars are being added to this project. Has both an iOS and Android App. Some technical know-how is needed.

Leaf Scan – Possibly the first device created for the Nissan Leaf. Stand alone display for universal use.

Leaf Spy (Pro) – Android App that connects to your car through a BlueTooth OBD-II dongle. Pretty much plug and play.

Note: With all these devices, you are using them at your own risk. None of them are endorsed or supported by the car manufacturers.


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  • Dennis Pascual

    For those interested, my own Fiat 500e review, not quite to Mark and Nikki level – I can only test drive the car as any consumer does, (a few minutes at a time at a dealer, not one of these get it for a week dealies that our illustrious auto journalists at TE get).

  • vdiv

    Love the Q&A and hope it becomes a more of a permanent feature. To paraphrase a saying:n”Tell me and I shall forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I shall understand”

  • Trent

    We would be happy to let you test (or have us test) our 2015 Fiat 500e since we live in California.

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