Showing up late to this party, but I have lots to add!
The Fiat problem was related to the DC-DC converter, which converted the ~400vdc down to +12vdc to charge the 12 volt battery. These EVs and Hybrids are still using 12 vdc systems that are legacy from the manufacturers other cars, or in this case from the ICG (internal combustion engined) Fiat 500. In the early 500es's the converters were failing and the 12 vdc battery would run down and the car would not run. the computer is run from the +12 battery. So that should all me fixed with a 2017 lease 500e.
Charging, If you have an electric Dryer, you can charge from the 220 vac 2 phase. or you could wire in a separate 220/ 240 volt outlet. I wired in a NEMA L14-30 4 pin turn lock outlet to my garage area. I plug a Clipper Creek LCS-30 into that, which means I have the male L14-30 on the end of the Clipper Creek pigtail. I did this, so taht I can also use that charge adapter at friend's houses (or my house initially). I have a 6 foot standard dryer plug cord (NEMA 10-30) with a female L14-30 on it. So put the dryer cord onto the Clipper Creek and I can charge from any 220v dryer outlet. I could also build adapters for other places to plug in, like RV outlets or ?? (I have some of those plugs for my welder).
Electricity billing. Look at when you charge that car, if you can charge it overnight primarily, you can take advantage of the off peak rates, but you have to sign up for them and it might require you to enter the VIN of the car. But that can save you a fair bit of money if you charge the car everyday. Its all about thinking ahead, so if on a Saturday, you zip off to run some early morning errands, plug the car in when you get home so its more charged up for afternoon errands, and or evening outings. Keep it charged up and it becomes less stressful to use.
For other people thinking of getting an EV, there are lots of used 1-3 year old lease turn ins. Because of the laws written in California to promote EV usage, the manufacturers HAVE to sell a certain percentage of cars in CA that are hybrid or EV. To meet the "sold" quota, many are sold to their leasing companies, who, then have a glut of EVs and have to lease them. So they lease prices drop. To some very reasonable levels or really awesome levels. They havea 2nd problem when those cars get turned back in 3 years later, but that is good news for all of us. We can buy the 3 year, nicely used EVs and Hybrids for ~10-15K, which is a big decrease from the $40k asking price (minus the $9k rebates). So shop for used Volts, Used Fiats, Used Sparks (one of the fastest accelerating EVs!), and other lease turn back cars. The 2nd generation Rav 4 EVs are sought after and hold a slightly higher value, as those have a Tesla drivetrain and battery and get ~125 mi/charge. and they have room to haul stuff.
if you have been following the EV news at all, you will see the discussion about the stickers. The Current Green (Hybrid) and White (EV) stickers expire at the end of 2018. BUT the state legislature just passed a bill extending the expire date of sticker (white) for a year or two beyond 2018, depending on when you bought/leased the car. So you might be covered until the end of 2019 or 2020/2021. And you'll get a new colored sticker in the mail, so that the CHP can distinguish the new color from the old expired green and white stickers. Sadly this mean that my 2013 Volt will no longer be allowed in the commuter lane after 2018.
And I bought mine, so its not going to be worth much more than about $8-10K in 2019. my screw up for not thinking through the changing landscape of leased EVs vs leased normal cars.
Dudes Ex Machina: https://www.facebook.com/dudesexmachina
?Everyone who has ever built anywhere a 'new heaven' first found the power thereto in his own hell- Frederick Nietzsche