Fiat Professional surprises the commercial vehicle world with an all electric Ducato…

Domenico Gostoli, Head of Fiat Professional Electrification Programs, presented the E-Ducato in Turin…

At the presentation of the new Ducato MY2020, Fiat Professional brand gave the world its very first glimpse of the Ducato Electric – an all-electric BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) version – which will go on sale during 2020 and team up with the natural gas Ducato Natural Power to complete the alternative fuel offering.

In conceiving and developing the Ducato electric, the 2 person team responsible for the project, led by Domenico Gostoli, Head of Fiat Professional Electrification Programs with Angelica Carapezza managing and coordinating the implementation of such electrification programs, started with a “bottom up”, client-based approach, and focused first on building up a database with a specific, detailed study of customers’ real use of their vehicles, which involved a year of data gathering.

This confirmed that more than 25% of the market already has a “BEV Attitude” in terms of use, routes, dynamics and performances, and is therefore ready and waiting for a mobility change.

Indeed, professionals working in specific business areas are keen to adopt E-technology, considering the growth in online commerce, postal and courier services, home ready-to-eat food deliveries, hub-spoke local transport, and the widespread need to ensure access to city centres, with their ever-increasing traffic restrictions on conventional fuel vehicles.

Finding the ideal use pattern of a Ducato Electric van is supported by pro-active cooperation with the customer, through Pilot Projects involving some large industry players, to fully exploit all their knowledge base, and identify all specific use demands to be borne in mind during individual customisation and configuration for every application.

The image here shows the unique approach of these structured pilot projects with customers. It first involves sitting down with the customer to evaluate his delivery mission, gathering the field data, which are then analysed and further structured in a logistical pattern. Real BEV data are then analysed and put in a computer simulation to establish a real profile of the specific energy demand of the customer from his vehicle. This is then followed by recommendations for the final vehicle configuration, the necessary charging infrastructures and the use of the customer.

With this approach, Fiat Professional intends to offer complete electric mobility solutions, based on the study of energy needs, able not only to cover every single mission but also to offer solutions ranging from vehicles to infrastructures, not forgetting any aspect of the whole world of services increasingly required by today’s new, constantly evolving mobility scenarios.

So as well as offering a complete range of versions, Ducato Electric will also feature modular battery size options, with range from 220 to 360 km (NEDC cycle) and different charging configurations . All combined with impressive performances: speed limited to 100 km/h to optimise energy use, maximum power of 90 kW and maximum torque of 280 Nm.

What’s more, the new electric powerplant does not penalise Ducato’s strong point: best-in-class load volumes from 10 to 17 m3, and a payload of up to 1,950 kg, the best in its category.

We made extensive interviews with the two managers behind the project, which is a cornerstone in the transition we see nowadays from the traditional “choice of vehicle” to a “choice of mobility”.  Indeed, in the present day business environment, Total Cost of Mobility determines now your purchase decision, instead of Total Cost of Ownership…

More on the new Ducato range and the series of video interviews – done with the kind assistance of Helena Menten – of the inspiring people of Fiat Professional soon!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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