Fiat electrifies the Ducato, Europe's favorite camper van base
The Fiat Ducato van is an absolute tour de force of camper conversion, accounting for roughly 75 percent of European motorhomes. And it'll soon be available as an electric. Fiat Professional's first all-electric vehicle will join a refreshed Ducato lineup for the 2020 model year. Eventually everyone from work crews to stealthy #vanlifers could be cruising around in a quiet, zero-emissions van.
Slowly but steadily, vans have been going electric, and it's no longer just the small ones. The Ducato Electric joins recently announced electrified Sevel siblings from Citroën, Peugeot and Vauxhall, and we've also seen full-size electric competitors from Volkswagen and Mercedes in recent years.
Prior to giving the Ducato Electric the big okay, Fiat compounded a year's worth of customer data on daily vehicle usage. In doing so, it found that upwards of 25 percent of the market already has an open mind toward battery electric vehicles – a "BEV Attitude," as Fiat references it.
A large, heavy load-carrying van might seem a tough vehicle to electrify, but as Fiat points out, the growth of markets like online commerce and local transportation means that vans are constantly accessing city centers, where emissions standards can be very strict. These markets represent natural early adopter targets for electric vans.
The Ducato Electric won't be limited to distances measured in city blocks, however. Fiat will have a range of battery options, offering between 136 and 223 miles (219 and 359 km) of range per charge. The vans will offer up to 121 hp (90 kW) and 207 lb-ft (280 Nm) of torque, with top speed limited to 62 mph (100 km/h) to conserve battery power.
Like other Ducatos, the electric van family will come in the full range of body configurations and sizes, offering payloads up to 4,300 lb (1,950 kg). Thanks to intelligent integration of the battery pack, the Electric van's load volumes will remain unchanged, ranging between 353 and 600 cu ft (10 and 17 cu m).
Fiat announced the Ducato Electric a few weeks ago and provided more details today during an international world premiere event for the MY2020 Ducato. It will launch the electric van in 2020, offering it initially through pilot projects. The electric van joins a fully updated MY20 Ducato that brings a new nine-speed automatic transmission, updated Euro 6D 2.3-liter engine range, driver-assistance systems like blind spot assist, full brake control and lane departure warning, and new 7-in infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
We don't anticipate that any of the electric pilot projects will be camper vans or motorhomes, but it is definitely intriguing to see such a popular camper van base vehicle going electric. So far, electric campers have primarily been limited to small vans with limited room and larger Class C motorhomes with limited range. A Ducato (or Sprinter or Crafter)-based camper van with over 200 miles of range would immediately become the most intriguing all-electric camper van available, though the Rivian R1T with slide-out kitchen would probably take the crown for most interesting all-electric camping vehicle, period.
Source: Fiat Professional
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Granted, that top speed limit and 90 kW power limit makes me think that this is really intended for urban usage, even with the range quoted (even with adjusting for how ludicrously optimistic NEDC range is).