30 Apr 2021
E-Ducato, the zero-emission professional vehicle resulting from a customer-driven “Pilot Project”
In the 120-year history of the Fiat Professional brand, the E-Ducato is the first vehicle designed and built not only “for” customers, but “together” with customers.
- In the 120-year history of the Fiat Professional brand, the E-Ducato is the first vehicle designed and built not only “for” customers, but “together” with customers.
- The process of profiling the customer and their needs began with an analysis of data collected over a 1-year period from 4,000 thermal vehicles that traveled over 50 million km. These data were fundamental for designing and building a vehicle that could perform the same missions as a thermal vehicle but with zero emissions.
- Based on these studies, a pre-series fleet of electric-powered vehicles was produced, which were then assigned in rotation to various customers, who put them to the test in real working conditions.
- A true “Pilot Project” that saw the active involvement of prestigious companies like Arcese, GLS, Lyreco, Mercitalia, EDF, Fraikin, CSB, Nippon Express and BT Fleet, all of whom provided the added value of their experience in the field. A collaboration that has also extended to joint marketing and communication initiatives.
Throughout its 120-year history, Fiat Professional has always been a brand that “lets the facts speak for themselves”, producing vehicles that are first and foremost work tools for growing the business. This approach has allowed the Brand to achieve an undisputed leadership position in the world of light commercial vehicles, as evidenced by the figures for the Ducato: over 5 million units produced since 1981 in the biggest plant in the world, over 75% of volumes in the Caravan bases sector and, finally, the European Best Seller status achieved in 2020.
Figures that demonstrate the brand recognition among customers and users, the lasting fulfillment of their needs through the characteristics of the Ducato, a model that has always been able to satisfy, and even anticipate, the needs of operators.
This tradition of excellence and proactivity is confirmed by E-Ducato, the first Fiat Professional vehicle that is 100% electric and 100% designed together with our customers. In fact, the E-Ducato was born “tailor-made”: before finalizing the product briefing for the electric vehicle, Fiat Professional gathered monitoring data for a whole year from 4,000 thermal Ducati vehicles, whose control units, connected in real time, allowed the different mission profiles to be identified in their real application on the road. Analysis of the data collected, and subsequently aggregated, made it possible to establish which daily missions were ready for the evolution from thermal to electric, without this change in propulsion technology causing any business interruption for the customer. The analysis carried out of the 50 million km traveled by connected vehicles, confirmed how knowledge about customers and their needs is fundamental for the sale of commercial vehicles.
This study phase was followed by the launch of a “Pilot Project” so complete and complex that it was unprecedented in the history of Fiat Professional. During the engineering development phase of the electric version of the Ducato, a mini fleet of pre-series vehicles was produced which, assigned to strategic customers prior to the vehicles being available on the market, allowed data to be collected in electric and no longer thermal mode. Briefly, each user was assigned a vehicle on free loan for a period of 4-6 weeks, allowing each customer effectively and empirically to start “his” Ducato experience, identifying “his” vehicle by battery size, type of route, daily km, delivery times and shifts and type of infrastructure/charging profile. This allowed a “real life” customer profile to be established.
This collaboration with the customers selected for the “Pilot Project” continues today and covers various communication channels: press, web, social, co-marketing, joint participation in events and promotion of new experimental business lines.
Furthermore, in terms of identification and visibility, it is worth emphasizing that the E-Ducato fleet bears the distinctive livery of the model, combined with that of the international partners who took part in the project, including Arcese, GLS, Lyreco, Mercitalia, EDF, Fraikin, CSB, Nippon Express and BT Fleet, to name a few: all leading companies in the market and devoted to innovation, which have shown that they want to combine the commercial side of their business with respect for the environment.
Thus Fiat Professional confirms its ability to work alongside the customer throughout the purchasing process, providing a "tailor-made" product, whereby the buyer becomes an active participant in the process, with the aim of achieving truly eco-sustainable mobility from the beginning, throughout the value chain, as a result of two companies sharing a single major strategic goal.
At this moment in history, we are witnessing several epochal changes in the automotive industry and customer culture, not only in the switch from thermal to electric, but also and above all in the evolution from the simple sale of a vehicle to the sale of a complete sustainable mobility service, in which the customer’s knowledge and needs become essential elements of the sale itself.
Once again, Fiat Professional becomes the protagonist of a cultural change through a concrete approach to the issue of sustainability: the “tailor-made” E-Ducato is the answer.