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Fiat Tailors Electric-Car Lease for Range-Anxious Drivers – Driver’s Seat – WSJ

Interested in an electric car, but not the range-anxiety that often comes with it? Well, Fiat might have just the deal for you.

With this summer’s release of the all-electric Fiat 500e in California, the Italian brand is offering a special retail plan that allows customers who buy or lease the car to occasionally swap it out for another gas-engine Chrysler vehicle if they have to travel beyond the battery range. Italy’s Fiat SpA, which a few years ago revived the Fiat brand in the U.S., owns Chrysler Group LLC.

The $32,500 500e can go about 87 miles on a single charge, which beats many other battery-powered cars on the market today, but its potential to run out of juice and leave the driver stranded is still a turn off for many consumers.

So Fiat is giving buyers an alternative by partnering with rental car conglomerate, Enterprise Holdings, which operates Enterprise, Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands.

Anyone with a so-called 500e Pass will have access to rentals free of charge for up to 12 days each year, up to three years after purchase.

Fiat also is trying to alleviate other concerns that come with buying an electric car, including the hefty price tag. Because the battery technology is so expensive, electric cars tend to carry far higher price tags than their gas-powered counterparts.



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