The Stellantis subsidiary Fiat Professional has now given the go-ahead for sales of the new fully electric Ducato and has also announced the signing of an agreement with DHL Express. A strategic partnership has also been in place since 2016. Tests in the delivery practice of the logistics service provider were successful, the vehicle meets the high requirements for range and payload, explained a DHL representative and supported the company in having 60 percent electrified the fleet by 2030. That corresponds to a number of around 14,000 vehicles. The group is aiming for climate neutrality by 2050, with electric vehicles being an integral part of this, so Alberto Nobis, CEO of DHL Express Europe:
“We firmly believe that the future of last mile logistics is electric,” he said.
This was preceded by five years of data collection, 4,000 connected vehicles uploaded data over a year and covered 50 million kilometers under all driving, loading and weather conditions and types of delivery. Today you can no longer do business with large fleets if you cannot make an offer in terms of e-mobility, stated Domenico Gostoli, who is responsible for e-drives at Fiat Professional.
The natural gas drive is becoming obsolete
Eric Laforge, LCV Europe manager at Stellantis, complained that they were the first manufacturer to offer an alternative drive in the form of natural gas vehicles. It was with this spirit that the E-Ducato was developed, but it is intended to make the CNG drive superfluous in the medium term and is now the preferred partner at DHL Europe. The electrified transporter will also run parallel to the other e-van models from the Stellantis brands Peugeot, Citroen and Opel in the 3.5-tonne range. The development was too far advanced for a standardization, explained Laforge.
For the time being, the e-vans from Fiat and PSA are running with different technology
PSA and Opel rely on an electrification solution for their large vans, which are identical on the body side with the Fiat Ducato, in cooperation with the British-Turkish specialist Bedeo, which has also implemented numerous retrofits based on Ducato. However, the cooperation agreement with PSA was concluded in 2019, well before the merger of PSA with Fiat was an issue. In the further course, the technologies are to be standardized, including with the standard diesel, by the way, which for Euro 6 still relies on the different units. The topic of hydrogen propulsion is also on the agenda in the Stellantis Group, also for Fiat, Lafarge continues.
“With the E-Ducato, we didn’t just want to create a ‘green’ vehicle, but a complete mobility solution with versatility, reliability, efficiency and sustainability on both an ecological and an economic level”, Laforge continues to advertise.
Versatile: at eye level with the combustion engine
The vehicle comes with a tonnage of 3.5 to 4.2 tons and up to two tons of payload in all available variants of the combustion engine, thus also as a chassis and panel van with a volume of 10 to 17 cubic meters, but should be up to 40 percent score points with lower maintenance costs. In addition, the manufacturer gives a ten-year guarantee on the battery over 220,000 kilometers for the 79 kWh battery and eight years and 160,000 km for the 47 kWh battery. In the WLTP cycle, the energy should enable 170 up to 280 kilometers and in the city from 235 to 370 kilometers. A so-called turtle mode is also intended to ensure confidence in the driver, which is intended to keep the vehicle drivable for up to ten percent longer with reduced power in the style of a battery-saving function on the cell phone. If a battery module fails, a recovery mode uses the modules that are still intact to ensure progress.
Moderate and optional DC power with 50 kW
Charging takes place in AC mode with an output of 7 to 22 kW; there is an optional DC charger with a moderate 50 kW, with which a 100-kilometer range should be charged in half an hour. The performance is on diesel level, complains the head of product management at Fiat Professional Luca Marengo. The sprint from 0 to 50 km / h is completed in less than five seconds, and the maximum torque of 280 Nm from the 90 kW electric motor is ready right from the start.
In addition, the manufacturer refers to a specially developed fleet telematics including a smartphone app and wants to help customers with the installation of the charging infrastructure. The provider promises that the energy supply will also be ensured through a partnership with the energy company Engie.
From 55,000 euros list price for the panel van
The price list of the Fiat E-Ducato ranges from the L2H1 panel van (medium wheelbase, normal roof height) with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes and ten cubic meters of cargo volume for 55,400 euros (net) to the L5H3 panel van (extra long wheelbase, super high roof) with 4 , 2 tons gross vehicle weight and 17 cubic meters loading volume for 61,030 euros (net). Chassis with cab are ideal for specialized bodies, starting with a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tons in four different lengths at 54,800 euros (net). Chassis with a gross vehicle weight of 4.2 tons are also available.
In addition, various rental and leasing solutions are offered to make it easier to get started with the technology. Customers can take out their credit in the so-called “Free to E” program, with which they can return their E-Ducato within two months of purchase and a maximum mileage of 1,500 kilometers. However, with the obligation to buy a Ducato, Talento or Doblò with a combustion engine.