The war of words between the two companies started last week at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

Fiat unknowingly started a war with Nissan when its head of marketing stated that the 2013 500e is living proof that EVs do not have to be ugly.

Aimed squarely at the Nissan Leaf, the comment was made last week at the Los Angeles Motor Show so it largely went unnoticed in the midst of the numerous new car debuts. With the show about halfway over, a spokesperson for Nissan has taken the time to issue a rebuttal to Fiat's statement in an interview with Automotive News.

"Let's face it, Fiat has not shied away from controversial styling themselves," said Nissan head of global marketing communications Simon Sproule. "Many would describe many of their products as visual pollution. Take a long, hard look at the Fiat Doblo [van]."

To add insult to injury, Sproule pointed out that while the 500e might look more mainstream than the Leaf, it is based on a small city car that is neither practical nor roomy.

"[To build an EV], they chose the smallest vehicle in their range with the least amount of passenger functionality," accused Sproule.

A spokesperson for Fiat declined to respond to Nissan's comments.