Credo Eco Finance’s mission to drive you green

Credo Eco Finance’s mission to drive you green

Credo Eco Finance’s mission to drive businesses green, by finding the right finance solution and product for your needs, means the personal touch when it comes to lenders and products. Marketing manager Fran Brown was impressed by the new electric Fiat 500.

It is a mission of mine to learn more about electric cars, so I can share my knowledge with people that are considering an electrified car for their next purchase. Thanks to Andrew Sturman of Motorvogue in Norwich, who loaned me a Fiat 500 La Prima for 24 hours, I got a taste of the reality of driving and living with an electric vehicle.

I set off with 161 miles of battery range, according to the well laid-out information system, and travelled home on country roads. The car was set on ‘Ranger’ mode, so when you take your foot off the accelerator, it naturally uses the regenerative braking system to harvest any lost energy. It felt strange at first, as you don’t need to use the brake pedal until you want to fully stop, but I soon got used to it. ‘Normal’ mode gives the full responsive acceleration, but you use more battery power.

City driving was easy. The Fiat 500 was nippy when needed, gliding effortlessly through the streets.

It’s a lovely electric hatchback, especially in range-topping La Prima specification with a panoramic sunroof. There’s also a cabriolet edition that delivers proper open-top motoring.

The 10-inch touchscreen works well and mirrors your iPhone or android device options once it has been connected.

My journey home is 38 miles and I arrived with 128 miles of range remaining, so driving on country roads had added a few extra miles of range thanks to the regenerative braking system trickling energy back into the battery. The next morning I took the A11 to cruise at higher speeds and really test out the battery capacity. I left with 128 miles and arrived at work with 84 miles left. I had used 11 miles more range on the faster road. Had I given the car a short charge overnight, that small difference in range usage would have been largely immaterial.

The worry of range anxiety – running out of charge – resonated with me, as it does with many people who haven’t yet bought electric. Driving back to the dealership knowing I hadn’t charged up overnight made me worry that if I floored it, I would quickly lose battery range and might not make it, but I soon realised it was not an issue. If you do cut it fine, a ‘Sherpa’ battery-saving mode limits your speed to 50mph, turns off the air conditioning and gives even stronger regenerative braking to further maximise the battery’s efficiency.

I found the Fiat 500 Electric fun to drive, holding the road well, with quick, responsive steering. Rather impressively, after just 24 hours in the driving seat, I’m a real EV convert!

Living with and driving the new electric Fiat 500 impressed Fran Brown.

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