Fiat E-Ducato: An expensive electric van in the driving report


Electric vans anticipate a future in which delivery services will no longer be allowed to operate in city centers using an internal combustion engine. Such a scenario may seem distant to some, but I think we are closer to it than many realize. Suppliers and manufacturers may be well advised to adapt to these conditions. Despite not entirely successful beginnings at La Poste, the industry is offering more and more offers in this direction with the Street Scooter, which it has developed in-house due to the lack of alternatives. We were able to test the first battery-powered electric Fiat E-Ducato.

The Fiat Ducato has a long tradition – the Transporter has been around for 40 years. It owes its continued popularity not only to its variability, which is reflected in countless structures. Last but not least, it should have been attractive that it turned out to be quite robust over the years – not exactly typical for Italian cars and important for the target group. Because downtime just means lost income. So far, high torque diesel engines have dominated and they will continue to be the first choice for long haul haulage for the foreseeable future.

For downtown delivery traffic, however, the electric motor seems to be the best choice: low noise and locally no exhaust fumes are good arguments. In addition, the range does not matter in principle, unless it is completely underdeveloped. Fiat offers two battery sizes: the smaller version with 47 kWh should cover up to 170 km, the larger with 79 kWh 280 km. These promises reflect the mixed operation of the WLTP, but the cycle information for pure city operation may be much more relevant to the intended purpose.

Stellantis mentions 235 or 370 km there. The decision for the large battery is also made more difficult by the fact that the possible payload is reduced by almost 300 kg. Depending on the version, a maximum of 670 kg (station wagon with large battery) and 2185 kg (“chassis 425” with small storage unit) can be loaded. Between 10 and 17 m fit in the van3.

Entrepreneurs will take a close look at what is needed for their profile, as additional energy content in particular, like optional charging options, is by no means cheap. An increase in the battery capacity of 32 kWh costs 16,600 euros, plus a forced coupling with a three-phase charger of 11 kW, which devours an additional 1,500 euros. Since this is a vehicle primarily used for commercial purposes, we have given the net prices. Including tax, it is 21,539 euros for the package with a greater range. A 22 kW three-phase charger costs 3000, the possibility of recharging with 50 kW direct current costs another 2500 euros (each net).

The person concerned must in any case be hardened in this regard: As a van, the E-Ducato is available from 55,400 euros (excluding VAT). Compared to the basic diesel, it costs more than 20,000 euros net additional. In terms of E-Ducato sales figures, Fiat can only hope that the city center driving bans will come quickly. Because the number of those who accept such additional prices out of sheer idealism should be in the lower alcohol range within the target group of vans.

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There, decisions are made almost exclusively on the basis of purely economic considerations, and compared to the current situation, it seems rather unlikely that many will resort to battery-powered electric powertrains if they are not required to. Perhaps Stellantis will also start elsewhere and make the E-Ducato tempting to lease.

Fiat, on the other hand, makes a different calculation: on a mileage of 150,000 kilometers, the E-Ducato saves around 15,000 euros in fuel compared to a comparable diesel version. Whether this calculation actually works that way should not only depend on how the prices of fuel and electricity change, but also what the entrepreneur pays for the electricity. In addition, maintenance costs are expected to be more than 40% lower than diesel versions. After all, the first five maintenance jobs within five years as well as a corresponding warranty are currently included.

On the left in the cockpit there is an additional screen in the E-Ducato with power flows, power supply, power output and recovery. The electric transporter was not planned in advance and when FCA was taken over by the Stellantis group, a quick way was sought to transplant PSA’s electrical engineering into the successful Italian van.

The starting procedure: with the ignition on, brake, turn the ignition key again then change gear D using the automatic selector lever. The absence of the usual jerks of a four-cylinder diesel only irritates a short time. The nearly 2.5-ton Fiat E-Ducato contracts almost silently in the parking lot. If you wish, you can select a driving program with the selector lever and choose between Eco (for maximum range), Normal and Power (for fully loaded journeys). Normal is generally a good decision.

Disclaimer: This article is generated from the feed and is not edited by our team.

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