Fiat E-Ducato electric van with 1,885kg payload – UK pricing and spec

  • Competitive new entrant into the electric van market
  • Comes in lots of types, a choice of battery sizes
  • Class-leading range and payload options, keen price

The Fiat E-Ducato electric van is, we suspect, about to make life rather difficult for all its large electric van competitors. Now revealed in full with UK pricing and specification, it’s available from launch in a wide selection of variants, has the ability to carry up to 1,885kg of payload in panel van form and promises a driving range of up to 148 miles.

What’s more, with the UK government Plug-in Van Grant (PiVG), prices start at less than £48,000. Buyers will also get a five year warranty, five years of free servicing and five years of roadside assistance.

Could the Fiat E-Ducato be the van that turns you on to electric power? You’ll want to read on to find out – as there’s a bit of finessing to those headline-grabbing figures. But this is still a very, very interesting new entrant into the electric van sector.

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E-Ducato battery size and driving range

Fiat is selling the E-Ducato with a choice of two battery sizes: 47kWh and 79kWh (that’s kilowatt hour, the standard measure for electric vehicle battery capacity).

This will no doubt vary slightly with the size of van, but the official driving range is 78 miles for the 47kWh E-Ducato and 148 miles for the 79kWh E-Ducato, measured to the latest WLTP ‘combined’ standards. As such you’ll need the bigger battery version to better the new Mercedes-Benz eSprinter (96 miles) and the Renault Master ZE (124 miles).

The WLTP ‘city’ range for the E-Ducato is 99 miles or 192 miles, which is useful (and potentially reassuring) to know if you mostly operate in urban areas.

How long does it take to charge?

The E-Ducato is available with a wide range of charging options, but the real attention grabber is that Fiat claims both battery sizes can be charged to 80% in 30 minutes – if you have access to a 50kW DC rapid charger.

Reading the spec more closely, however, what Fiat really seems to mean is that you can add 60 miles of driving range to either battery size in 30 minutes using a 50kW charger.

Fiat E-Ducato - 2020, rear view, driving

A 22kW AC fast charger will complete a full charge of the 47kWh battery pack in 2 hours 25 minutes and the 79kWh battery pack in four hours.

The 47kWh E-Ducato is also available with 7kW and 11kW on-board AC chargers, though you’ll need considerably more time to charge with those – between just under five hours and nearly eight hours. The 79kWh model gets the 11kW option, which again takes nearly eight hours to fully charge.

What about power and performance?

Replacing the usual Ducato turbodiesel engine under the E-Ducato’s bonnet is a 90kW electric motor – that’s equivalent to about 122hp – which also produces 280Nm of torque.

Top speed is limited to 62mph to help the driving range, and don’t expect to get there in too much of a hurry. Going from 0-30mph is said to take 6.0 seconds.

The E-Ducato is also equipped with four driving modes. The Normal, Eco and Power options are fairly unsurprising – Eco reduces performance and deactivated the air-conditioning to extend the range, for instance – but the fourth Turtle mode is even more extreme.

Kicking-in automatically when the battery level gets super low, it’s designed to maximise the range to the upmost in order to try and avoid leaving you stranded.

How many different versions of the E-Ducato are there?

Fiat has managed to design the E-Ducato so it can be built on the standard Ducato production line, which means it’s able to offer the electric van in a big selection of variants, including panel van, chassis cab and passenger carrier / minibus.

The panel van comes in two heights, three body lengths and three wheelbases, and load volume between 10 and 17 cubic metres. The chassis cab comes in three lengths and four wheel bases, while the passenger van can carry between five and nine passengers.

All versions are available with both battery sizes.

What about standard equipment?

The E-Ducato comes in two trim levels: standard and eTecnico.

Standard models come with a 5.0-inch touchscreen, DAB radio and Bluetooth, automatic climate control, heated door mirrors, tablet holder, twin-leaf rear suspension and converter plug. Panel vans get a full bulkhead and LED lighting in the load area, while safety kit includes ‘advanced emergency braking’, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic lights and wipers, and high-beam recognition.

The eTecnico adds a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and satellite-navigation, rear parking camera¸ rear parking sensors, blindspot monitors and rear cross-traffic detection. You also get electric folding door mirrors, LED daytime running lights, and some fancy trimming in the form of a leather steering wheel, chrome air vent surrounds and embroidered headrests (woohoo).

Fiat E-Ducato - 2020, Fiat Professional badge

All E-Ducato buyers also get a 12-month subscription to the Mopar Connect smartphone app, which has additional safety and security functionality, including the hilariously named ‘Theft Assistance’ (it actually means to help alert you to theft and attempted theft, rather than assist any crims).

And finally, the E-Ducato’s payload?

The E-Ducato beats every other electric panel van for payload – but it’s also cheating slightly, because in addition to the standard 3.5-tonne (3,500kg) gross vehicle weight rating, the E-Ducato is also available at a 4.25-tonne (4,250kg) GVW.

Usually, 3.5-tonnes is the legal max for an ordinary UK driving licence, but ‘alternative fuel’ vans including the E-Ducato has special dispensation to account for the impact of the battery on the kerbweight.

The lithium ion batteries that power electric vans are heavy. In the E-Ducato’s case they reduce the 3.5t panel van version’s maximum payload to 1,160kg at best – which means the smallest van size with the smaller battery pack. That’s actually not bad for an electric van, but some way less than the 3.5t 1,490kg the Master ZE can carry at its best.

However, the 4.25t version of the E-Ducato panel van has a lot more headroom, making its maximum payload 1,885kg. That’s more than twice the 774kg the Mercedes eSprinter can handle.

So how much does the E-Ducato cost and when does it go on sale?

Pricing for the Fiat E-Ducato starts at £47,675 excluding VAT – but that is for the smaller battery model, after the Plug-in Van Grant. Without the PiVG the ex-VAT price is £55,675, which, it’s worth noting, is more than the eSprinter.

Want the 79kWh version? Then you’re looking at a minimum of £68,175 without the PiVG, £60,175 with it. Upgrading from the 3,500kg GVW to 4,250kg costs £2,800.

The E-Ducato is set to reach UK Fiat Professional van dealers in around November 2020.

Also read:

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

>> The best electric vans you can buy now

>> Electric vans coming soon

>> Mercedes-Benz eSprinter pricing and spec details

>> Our Renault Master ZE full review