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Fiat 500e

Posted: Mon, 09 Apr 2018, 19:48
by Damon500
Hi,
I’m working through the process of importing a Fiat 500e from California, does anyone know if there are any others already here in Australia?
Thanks, Damon

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Tue, 10 Apr 2018, 08:50
by antiscab
Is this a grey import situation?

Are you planning on registering it here? Or just swapping all the bits over to an Australian delivered fiat 500?

Are you leaving it left hand drive?

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Sat, 14 Apr 2018, 20:39
by Damon500
Hi Matthew,
Yes it would be a grey import as they are not sold outside California and Oregon.
I don’t believe it would be possible to road register an import younger than 25 years even if converted to RHD?

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Wed, 18 Apr 2018, 14:13
by reecho
Don't think you can bring it in as a complete car regardless.....

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Tue, 28 Aug 2018, 18:35
by Damon500
Yes it is possible - finally here from San Diego, driving and in one piece... (for now)
https://plus.google.com/111095818491512 ... ot9kEHHUNM
Now the fun begins!

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2018, 07:24
by T1 Terry
Damon500 wrote:
Tue, 28 Aug 2018, 18:35
Yes it is possible - finally here from San Diego, driving and in one piece... (for now)
https://plus.google.com/111095818491512 ... ot9kEHHUNM
Now the fun begins!
What was the total cost landed and off the wharf Damon? As they basically a Fiat 500 with all the ICE bits removed and EV bits in their place? This would allow you to source all the RHD bits from a wreck for the conversion if they are the same but there might be a catch with a statutory write off and any safety gear like air bags etc

T1 Terry

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Wed, 29 Aug 2018, 19:31
by Damon500
Hi Terry, they are an adaptation of the Fiat 500 but the American version which is built in Mexico rather than the Euro version built in Poland which is what we get here. Due to demand from around the world (and weak Australian dollar) they are not that cheap even used. You could probably land an early car (2012) for around $15-$20k assuming you can get import approval, later cars go for considerably more although the battery packs have good thermal management system and low degradation rate so an early one might be ok.
There is really no way that you could import one to register under current regulations (no pun intended) even if you converted it to RHD so I wouldn’t recommend it unless the regulations change. It’s a real shame though as it is so user-friendly, brilliant to drive with plenty of torque, excellent ride, handling and refinement- as you would expect for US$33k...

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 09:31
by T1 Terry
If you can't register it after a conversion to RHD then what do you intend to do with it? At that price to get it into the country and then scrap it for bits certainly doesn't make them financially appealing compared to some of the Jap imports and soon the Korean imports as well as the pommie imports if they are only going to be stripped out once they arrive.

T1 Terry

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 15:36
by Damon500
Hi Terry, at this point the only way to register one legally in Australia is to retrofit the running gear into a RHD Australian compliance vehicle and certify the modifications. That is of course much easier said than done!
Given that the ICE 500 has been on sale for 10 years now they can be purchased quite affordably- in fact comparable to the price of purchasing all the conversion parts required anyway.
My project is not primarily driven by financial comparisons- I work in the motor industry and am approaching it as an opportunity to learn about EV technology in a hands on way, with the end result of a vehicle that I like, fits my needs and enjoy driving.
I’m really not concerned that a new or used Nissan, Renault or Hyundai EV could present ‘better’ value- none of them interest me enough to contemplate owning for many reasons.
From what I have read in Australia and overseas I’m also not convinced there is enough technical depth of manufacturer or dealer after sales backup now or in the near future to justify the premium of buying a local model either.

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 16:17
by rhills
Damon500 wrote:
Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 15:36
From what I have read in Australia and overseas I’m also not convinced there is enough technical depth of manufacturer or dealer after sales backup now or in the near future to justify the premium of buying a local model either.
Our experience so far in having our Outlander PHEV repaired by Mitsubishi certainly backs up your judgement. I will spell out the details in the relevant thread once the saga is over. On the ETA advised today, that will be a race with Christmas!

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 11:52
by T1 Terry
Damon500 wrote:
Thu, 30 Aug 2018, 15:36
Hi Terry, at this point the only way to register one legally in Australia is to retrofit the running gear into a RHD Australian compliance vehicle and certify the modifications. That is of course much easier said than done!
Given that the ICE 500 has been on sale for 10 years now they can be purchased quite affordably- in fact comparable to the price of purchasing all the conversion parts required anyway.
My project is not primarily driven by financial comparisons- I work in the motor industry and am approaching it as an opportunity to learn about EV technology in a hands on way, with the end result of a vehicle that I like, fits my needs and enjoy driving.
I’m really not concerned that a new or used Nissan, Renault or Hyundai EV could present ‘better’ value- none of them interest me enough to contemplate owning for many reasons.
From what I have read in Australia and overseas I’m also not convinced there is enough technical depth of manufacturer or dealer after sales backup now or in the near future to justify the premium of buying a local model either.
You couldn't have a better reason than that Damon and I didn't realise the ICE version of the 500 could be picked up at a good price. I want to upgrade my '74 Kombi to electric drive for similar reasons, better to know what work was done and just where the items are located than giving the job to someone else and then having a 3rd party try to track down a problem having very little or no experience in the field.

T1 Terry

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Fri, 31 Aug 2018, 18:08
by Damon500
Hi Terry, your project sounds interesting- I started out with the aim of converting my 1969 Fiat 500 to EV as is being currently carried out by several overseas firms.
When I looked into it however, considered the costs and potential usability of the end vehicle I decided that converting a ‘new’ 500 would result in a more useful outcome.
Good luck with your Kombi, I have now started a thread in the Members machines if you would like to follow progress!

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 09:01
by T1 Terry
Thank you Damon, I'm already across the new thread and watching for further updates. I have a big shed but I don't have a hoist, something I miss from my mechanical workshop days. Maybe something to add in the future, along with the 48 hr day and 10 day week so I can actually have a bit of time to do my projects :lol:

T1 Terry

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 12:11
by tassie_tiger
Hi Damon

some quick questions for you:

- what is the bonnet made of on the e-version, it appears to be different to the body?
- will the bonnet be transferred?
- will wheels be transferred?
- will seats be transferred?
- gauges; do you anticipate these will transfer easily?
- front end appears a little different between models; is this the year model differences or e model specific?
- is the seating and upholstery much different?
- is that a body kit on the e-version?

Given you have the entire cars, you can swap and change most of the cosmetic stuff at will anyway!

Thanks for the images on the other thread/topic, fast progress already - would love to hear your thoughts as you progress as well as the images.

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Sat, 01 Sep 2018, 17:33
by Damon500
Hi Andrew,
I purchased my 500e as a damaged vehicle which had a fairly minor hit high up on the drivers side and it was still driveable but partially stripped. I didn’t want to buy a ‘complete’ car because it was going to be unregisterable here anyway even if converted and I was unsure at the time if I would need to cut it in half to import it.
The bonnet is steel on the e- same as regular 500 - I bought a new ‘hood’ and ‘fender’ for it in the US and had it partially reassembled before export to protect it- they are just currently in their shipping primer. The body also will have another use afterwards as part of the import approval so I needed it to look complete- it also had the fringe benefit of allowing me to road test it and sort out a few minor issues prior to dismantling it.
I’m not planning to use the E wheels although I will retain them. They have low grip 15” tyres which i’m sure improve the range but don’t handle the torque output at all well especially when accelerating out of corners. Interestingly the factory ‘e’ wheels are 1” wider at the rear although the tyre size is the same all round. I’m planning to use the slightly wider 16” wheels of the recipient vehicle and will allow me to rotate the tyres - which I suspect will require much more regular replacement than on the 51kw petrol version..
Seats will be transferred as they are much more comfortable as well as heated (to reduce need for cabin heating) and also contain occupancy and proximity sensors for the airbag system that the Euro version doesn’t. Not sure if the US seatbelts and pretensioners will comply yet. The American version also has much better designed cup holders!
The Gauge cluster should transfer ok into the RHD dash although there is substantial wiring modifications required with 3 digital CAN Bus networks running as well as flipping over the central locking, gauge cluster, column stalk, electric power steering, wipers, mirrors and airbag system (driver, passenger and knee airbags) as well as a lot of additional equipment for the electric climate control aircon and heating, auto dimming interior mirror and alarm. The factory Satnav is very lost too as well as using satellite radio rather than DAB and missing ‘even’ station frequencies. I will see if I can use a local unit but it depends whether that will allow access to the EV specific functions such as charging timers and whether the BCM will override the functions in the local unit anyway as it does in other Fiat models.
The e has unique front and rear bumpers, side skirts, air dam and spoiler. Again I will retain these although i’m planning a more retro-look with my donor vehicle so I will see how it affects the range before I decide to fit them.
I have copied this over to the Member’s rides board with additional pictures- let’s move over to the one thread.

Re: Fiat 500e

Posted: Sun, 02 Sep 2018, 18:30
by rhills
This thread has now been locked at the request of the OP.
All further discussion is on Damon's Fiat 500e Project in the Members Machines forum.