If city cars are the ideal candidates for electric powertrains, then the compact Fiat 500 is near perfect for the green technology. Fiat currently offers a brand-new 500e, but for those who like an old-school vibe, Icon 4×4 has just the number. In collaboration with Stealth EV, Jonathan Ward and his team converted a gorgeous 1966 Fiat 500 Giardinetta to full battery electric.
Dubbed the Fiat Giardinetta EV Derelict, due to the maintenance of the original car’s exterior, this 1966 gem was able to fit electric components while keeping its four-seat configuration. The car has six Tesla-sourced batteries, two in the front and four in the rear to keep things balanced. It uses an Orion battery management system and an AC35 motor. The suspension was bolstered up with coilovers, a bigger panhard bar was added, and the car now uses upgraded disc brakes.
Hilariously, it has similar, if not better, specs than Fiat’s current 500e. Icon and Stealth EV claim the car has about 80 horsepower and about 100 pound-feet of torque. Using a single-speed gearbox, it revs up to 5000 rpm, and due to the electric powertrain, has 100 percent of its torque the entire way up.
The battery kit was able to achieve 120 miles of range at 65 mph in a test run, and the company estimates it could reach 150 miles on a single charge when driven in less taxing city conditions. Keep in mind, this car only has heat but no air conditioning (cold air was possible, but it would be pricey and isn’t really necessary when it already has a retractable top).
Extra Icon modifications included new weather stripping, new glass seals, and added Dynamat to quiet the old car down. Icon also reupholstered the seats with marine-rated vinyl and incorporated a few Italian leather accents.
According to Stealth EV, similar battery modules are available for around $1,500 (remember there are six of these modules in this Fiat) and the kit is not a one-off-specific job. Now that they have the CAD specs, the setup could be replicated fairly easily. We suddenly want a completely impractical mini station wagon.