New Fiat 500 vs Peugeot e-208: costs

The Fiat 500 city car has entered an exciting new era by going fully electric. But how does it stack up against the highly accomplished Peugeot e-208?...

Fiat 500 electric 2021 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

After factoring in the £2500 grant that’s available on all pure electric cars costing less than £35,000, the 500 range starts at £20,495. However, that money gets you a much smaller, 24kWh battery and an official range of just 118 miles. To get the 42kWh battery and official 199-mile range of our test car, you’ll be spending a minimum of £23,995, although we reckon it’s worth stumping up a further £1500 for the better-equipped Icon model we’re focusing on here.

Twenty-five grand might seem like an awful lot of dosh for a Fiat 500, but by electric car standards it actually isn’t. It’s around £1700 less than you’ll pay for even the cheapest version of the e-208, and to get the Peugeot in a similarly well-equipped trim level (Allure Premium), you’ll be spending more than £28,000.

Depreciation will be less of an issue with the 500, too; those chic looks help to explain why it’s predicted to lose considerably less value than its French rival during the first three years of ownership. By the time you’ve considered its fractionally lower servicing and (estimated) insurance bills, along with its more efficient use of electricity, the difference in three-year running costs grows to £2362.

Peugeot e-208 2021 side

You won’t need to worry quite so much about depreciation if you’re signing up to a PCP finance agreement, but you’ll still be paying for some of it indirectly. It’s one of the reasons why monthly repayments are £329 for the e-208, compared with £307 for the 500, assuming you put down a £3000 deposit (on top of the £2500 grant), with a 48-month term with a 10,000-mile annual limit.

Both cars are so incredibly cheap to run as company cars that the difference in monthly benefit-in-kind tax payments isn’t even worth mentioning.

There isn’t much in it for standard luxuries; both cars get 16in alloy wheels, climate control, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors and cruise control. The 500 adds keyless entry, but you have to pay extra for a rear-view camera (as part of an £850 pack) and an alarm; both of those things are standard on the e-208.

Fiat 500 vs Peugeot e-208 costs

On the safety front, both come with traffic sign recognition and automatic emergency city braking, but the 500’s system can also recognise cyclists as well as pedestrians, whereas the e-208 can’t react to the former. That’s one of the reasons why it scored a relatively disappointing four stars (out of five) for safety when appraised by Euro NCAP. Testing for the 500 hadn’t been completed at the time of writing.

As for charging, the 500 can accept a rate of up to 85kW and the e-208 up to 100kW. If you can find a public charging point capable of delivering said power (there aren’t too many of these in the UK yet), a 10-80% charge will take 27 minutes in the 500 and 31 minutes in the e-208. If you’re wondering why the car that can accept more power takes longer to charge, remember that the e-208 has a larger, 50kWh battery. This also explains why charging it from empty to full using a typical home wallbox takes 7hr 15min, versus just six hours in the 500.