Electric Trucks & Vans From Fiat, Citroen, & Volvo Coming Soon

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People may or may not want to buy electric cars (US manufacturers still insist that is the case), but the demand for electric trucks and delivery vans is ratcheting up as fleet managers fall in love with their low operating and maintenance costs. Fiat and Citroen are introducing new electric vans for the European market and Volvo Trucks (which is not the same company as Volvo Cars) is getting ready to offer its electric box trucks to commercial customers in Southern California.

Fiat E-Ducato

Fiat E-Ducato electric van
Image credit: Fiat

When I first saw this story on the CleanTechnica assignment sheet, my first thought was it was about a new electric motorcycle from Ducati, which proves you don’t have to be all that bright to be a writer. What the E-Ducato from Fiat is, though, is a 100% battery electric version of the company’s time honored Ducato commercial van.

Whether it’s for hauling cargo or passengers, or a cab and chassis vehicle ready for a custom body, it offers what Fiat calls, “100% Ducato, 100% Electric. It will be Fiat Professional’s flagship for electric mobility.” Total cost of ownership and total cost of mobility will be the factors the company expects will appeal to commercial customers.

Customers can select a 47 kWh battery with 220 km (137 miles) of range or a 79 kWh battery with 360 km (224 miles) of range. The E-Ducato offers 4 charging options with a multi-purpose charging port that can accept either AC or DC charging cables. It has been thoroughly tested over the past 12 months in real world driving situations and is ready to put its zero emissions platform to work.

Citroen ë-SpaceTourer

Citroen e-SpaceTourer
Image credit: Citroen

We’re not sure what’s up with the  funky name for Citroen’s new ë-SpaceTourer, but it looks like a very attractive vehicle for hauling up to 9 people in zero emissions style. A corporate twin to the Peugeot e-Traveler van, this offering from Citroen is available in 3 different lengths and two battery choices — 50 kWh with 230 km (143 miles) of range or 75 kWh with 330 km (205 miles) of range. Both vehicles are built on the EMP-2 platform.

The ë-SpaceTourer is only 1.9 meters high, which allows it to fit comfortably in most parking garages where other vans won’t fit. Three performance levels are selectable by the driver:

  • Normal — 80 kW/210 N·m: allows the best compromise between range and dynamic performance
  • Eco — 60 kW/190 N·m: optimizes energy consumption by reducing heating and air-conditioning output without disabling them and by limiting motor torque and power
  • Power — 100 kW/260 NN·mm provides performance with the maximum number of persons en board

Two regenerative braking modes are available. A 7.4 kW onboard charger is standard, while an 11 kW 3 phase charger is optional.

Volvo Electric Box Trucks Coming To Southern California

Volvo electric box truck
Image credit: TEC Fontana

Air quality near container ports in Southern California is awful, thanks to the large volume of diesel-powered yard tractors shuttling containers around when they are unloaded, and short haul drayage tractors that haul them to distribution facilities a few miles inland.

In cooperation with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Volvo Trucks has developed an all-electric box truck as part of the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project.

The first Volvo VNR Electric truck will operate at the Volvo Trucks North America TEC Equipment dealership in Fontana, California. The zero emission truck will transport parts between the TEC Equipment dealerships in Fontana and La Mirada. The dealership has two 50 kW chargers in its service area and a 150 kW charger for customer use outside. The chargers were installed as part of a partnership between Volvo Trucks, Southern California Edison, and San Bernardino County.

Aravind Kailas, advanced technology policy director for Volvo Group North America, says “This experience in designing, planning, and installing high power chargers for electric trucks has taught us how critical it is to engage a variety of stakeholders early on. The Volvo LIGHTS project has provided valuable insight into how to build realistic project timelines. Despite the unavoidable delays due to the COVID-19 situation, we’re proud the team has been able to continue moving the project forward.”

Starting in 2021, Southern California businesses will have the opportunity to lease Volvo VNR Electric trucks from TEC Equipment to gain firsthand experience with these advanced trucks in their fleet operations, according to Green Car Congress.

As part of the Volvo LIGHTS project, two local fleet operators — NFI Industries and Dependable Supply Chain Services — will also begin demonstrating the pilot of Volvo VNR Electric trucks for full operations in their regional routes later this summer.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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