FEV showed off their LiiOn-drive (modded) Fiat 500 at the Vienna Motor Symposium last week. It is a plug-in hybrid that was presented at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress in Detroit last year.
The FEV plug-in hybrid features a Wankel rotary engine, which is very smooth running, with virtually no vibration. Although fuel efficiency is not Wankel’s hot spot, they are best-suited for small cars, because they are very power dense. A range-extending application like this would reduce the noise difference between the pure electric drive and the charge modes.
The plug-in hybrid Fiat 500 can go 50 miles on battery only and another 190 miles aided by a 3.2 gallon tank full of gasoline. Still, no manufacturer has come with a real plan to make this vehicle a reality, but the testers who drove the car were impressed by its features and performance. Remember the gasoline engine only charges the battery, and does not “touch” the wheel, as it does in the Prius.