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New 2020 Fiat e-Ducato pilot scheme launched

The all-electric Fiat e-Ducato panel van is being tested by a handful of businesses, ahead of its general market release at the end of the year

The new, all-electric Fiat e-Ducato van has been revealed. The Italian brand’s first zero-emissions commercial vehicle has entered the final stages of its development programme in a pilot scheme with several “major clients,” ahead of going on sale in the UK in autumn 2020.

The e-Ducato’s electric motor offers similar performance to the van’s least powerful 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, with an output of 121bhp and 280Nm of torque. The motor allows the panel van to haul a payload of up to 1,950kg – although Fiat has limited its top speed to just 62mph to maximise the vehicle’s range.

Buyers will have their choice of either a 47kWh or 79kWh battery pack, which provide claimed ranges of 124 or 205 miles respectively. Charge times show promise, too; when plugged into a 7kW wallbox charger, the smaller unit will recover a full charge in eight hours. Using a 50kW DC fast-charger, the same battery will reach 80 percent capacity in just 50 minutes.

The e-Ducato’s battery pack is mounted under the van’s floor and its electric motor occupies the same space as the standard Ducato’s combustion engine – which means it retains the same carrying capacity. Load volume is identical, with between 10 and 17 cubic metres of space on offer, depending on the selected body style.

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From launch, the e-Ducato will be available as either a panel van or a chassis cab. The former option will be available in three lengths and three heights, while the latter will offer a choice of four lengths. A minibus variant will also be available, offering seating for up to nine passengers.

Fiat has also updated the e-Ducato’s interior to match its electric powertrain. In place of the standard van’s rev-counter there’s a new charge indicator – and Fiat has tweaked the van’s infotainment system with some unique graphics. There’s also a new control unit mounted to the driver’s A-pillar, which can be used to set the van’s daily charging schedule.

Fiat says the e-Ducato “has not been designed for long journeys.” Instead, the company hopes it will find uses as a last-mile delivery vehicle or a short-distance shuttle – especially in emissions-conscious cities such as London, Glasgow and Leeds.

Prices will start from around £48,000 excluding VAT, but including the government’s £3,000 plug-in vehicle grant. Fiat is aiming to put all three variants on sale in the UK during autumn this year.

What do you make of the all-electric Fiat e-Ducato? Let us know in the comments section below

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