Chrysler says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has certified its forthcoming ’13 Fiat 500e electric vehicle as having an 87-mile (140-km) driving range and gets an equivalent of 116 mpg (2.03 L/100km).

That puts the 500e, on sale in California in the second quarter, past the range of one of its closest competitors, the Honda Fit EV with an 82-mile driving range and an equivalent of 105 mpg (2.24 L/100km).

Incidentally, the EPA estimates that the average annual cost to power the 500e is the auto maker’s lucky number: $500.

During a media backgrounder in November, Fiat executives previously estimated the zero-emissions, front-wheel-drive 500e would have an 80-mile (128-km) driving range before EPA testing had begun.

With finite numbers in, the 500e also gets a combined 116-MPGe (2.0 L/100km) city/highway rating and a city-cycle rating of 122 (1.92 L/100km) MPGe.

Fiat executives have said a nationwide rollout of the 500e will commence after an initial sales cycle in California. An “environmentally sexy” campaign for the car begins this year, playing off the bawdy nature of other 500 advertising.

“Our environmentally sexy Fiat 500e offers a design proposition like no other, while delivering unsurpassed MPGe and class-leading range making our 500e a serious contender in the market,” Tim Kuniskis, head-Fiat North America, says in a statement.

The 500e’s powertrain was completely developed at Chrysler’s headquarters in Auburn Hills, MI, making it the first Fiat-branded vehicle to be conceived in the U.S. There are no plans to sell the car in Europe.

However, Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has been critical of the electric car, calling it a money-loser in the face of tightened corporate average fuel economy standards.

afoley@wardsuato.com