With a wider choice

Fiat 500e Tempts Petrolhead BMW 3-Series Owner to Dump the Pump For Good

We’re not going to beat about the bush: the 2015 Fiat 500e Electric Car is probably Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchiones’s most hated car. A confirmed electric car sceptic, Marchionne isn’t afraid to complain about being forced to produce the pint-sized plug-in ‘compliance car’, and once famously begged customers not to buy one since it lost the company $14,000 every time one was sold.

The Fiat 500e has the power to get you to dump the pump.

The Fiat 500e has the power to get you to dump the pump.

Yet earlier this year, an incredible sub-$100 per month lease deal on the Fiat 500e in California caused a dramatic peak in 500e demand, and even prompted people who never before thought of buying an electric car to take a punt with the four-seat hatch.

As our friends over at GreenCarReports detail, some of those customers are now loving their Fiat 500e electric cars so much that they’re considering dumping the pump for good.

Enter Blogger and marketing executive Chris Baccus, who saw the Fiat 500e lease deal just over a month ago and decided to nab the electrified bargain to help reduce the wear and tear on his prized 2007 BMW 3-series convertible.

After just seven weeks of plug-in ownership, Baccus says he’s considering selling his BMW for good, as the experience of driving an electric car is simply too enjoyable.

Initially, Baccus said he had planned to drive the Fiat 500e as the third car in his family, saving his prized 355i convertible for sunny days and road trips, and letting the all-electric runabout do the daily commute.

Fiat 500e sales have soared since a sub-$100 per month lease deal

Fiat 500e sales have soared since a sub-$100 per month lease deal

“So the Fiat is basically my BMW preservation plan. Now with a new job and a slightly longer commute, I didn’t want to run up my miles sitting in LA traffic,” he wrote.  “With a fairly inexpensive, almost breakeven cost due to significantly lower “fuel” costs and lower maintenance costs for an out of warranty BMW, an EV made a lot of sense.”

Having spent some time behind the wheel of the Nissan LEAF, Volkswagen -eGolf and Ford Focus EV, Baccus was no stranger to the joys of plug-in vehicles. But the instant torque of the Fiat 500e’s electric motor and kart-like handling has become something of a favourite.

“Driving the Fiat is a lot of fun. What I didn’t expect is that I would enjoy driving this tiny, 111 horsepower Fiat more than the 2007 BMW 335i convertible I still own. Clearly, I’m just in a state of new car euphoria, right?,” he continued.

In fact, in the first seven weeks of ownership, Baccus says he’s covered more than 1,000 miles in his new electric Fiat 500e, while his prized BMW has covered just 120 miles.

Despite having less power than his 3-series, the tiny Fiat 500e has also encouraged Baccus to partake in a new sport that will be well-known to every plug-in driver who reads this: the intoxicating range game, where drivers see just how many miles they can get out of a charge — and how efficiently they can drive.

Highly competitive, especially if competing against a friend or spouse, this particular game can become surprisingly addictive.

“Driving an electric car is a blast and I can’t imagine not having an EV, now that I have one,” admits Baccus. “I keep contemplating selling the BMW and may do so, but I want to make sure it’s not just due to the short-term enjoyment of something new. So, I’ll wait 6-months to decide about that. For now, I’m just having a great time being an EV driver and the Fiat 500e is a great way to experience electric with its quick, sporty, go-kart like driving experience.”

Bacchus says he really hasn't driven his 3-series all that much.

Bacchus says he really hasn’t driven his 3-series all that much. (Photo: Chris Baccus, Via his blog, (Sustainabledad.com)

Naturally, this particular story isn’t unusual for first-time plug-in car owners. In fact, of the people we’ve seen buy plug-in hybrid and electric cars over the past decade or so, we note that cars which are often purchased as errand-runners or daily drivers often quickly replace any other cars in a family garage. As is the case for at least three of our editorial team, that process continues until every single car has a plug.

Have you shared a similar experience? Are you someone who still holds onto a former car in case something changes your mind about plug-in vehicles? And do you think the key to future fuel adoption is as easy as getting bums in seats?

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.


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