The Ducato is the Fiat Professional best-seller, which - over 35 years and 6 generations - has been chosen by some three million customers. Ever since it first hit the road, the Ducato has been a brand in its own right, revolutionizing its segment with continual innovations now found in all light commercial vehicles. And over the years, Ducato has been progressively developed to become a trendsetter, produced in over 10,000 variants and sold in more than 80 countries worldwide. A global success that is also available with a natural gas engine which makes it ideal for urban transport.
Based and developed on the versatile Fiat 500 platform (also perfect for integrating electric vehicle technology), the 500e has already been on sale in the United States for several years. Its drive unit has a lithium ion battery and a high-power electric module (over 110 horsepower with a range of almost 150 kilometers); controlled by a state-of-the-art ECU which manages its power flows.
The IVECO Daily Minibus offers a wide range of solutions for different mission types: tourism, intercity and school transport. Like the other Daily family models, the Minibus is available with a choice of 146 and 180 HP Euro VI diesel engines, a 136 HP natural gas engine and an 80 kW all-electric engine. The Daily "Natural Power" Minibus, fuelled by CNG, delivers the same performance levels as its diesel equivalent. With 136 HP and best-in-class torque (350 Nm), the 3.0 liter engine can handle any mission.
IVECO BUS enjoys a large share of the sustainable energy market, thanks in part to the Daily Minibus Electric model. This "zero-emissions" vehicle, a 7.12-meter long, 16-seater, is ideal for city centers and shuttle bus services. Compared to the previous Daily Electric models, this new version provides a range of 110 or 160 km (with 2 or 3 batteries respectively), a 25 percent increase in efficiency, an additional payload of 100 kg and 20 percent more battery lifetime. The energy storage system requires two or three high-density nickel sodium chloride batteries in combination with high-power super-capacitors which improve the vehicle's performances and lengthen battery life. Energy recovery during braking transforms kinetic energy into electricity to charge the traction batteries.
FCA and IVECO's responsible commitment to genuinely sustainable mobility
Environment-friendly mobility is a major priority for today's automotive industry. Automobiles must ensure freedom of movement while also protecting the environment and the same applies to both light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks.
The commitment shown in this area by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' and CNH Industrial – which includes its IVECO brand, which produces and distributes industrial vehicles - is founded on the awareness that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for sustainable mobility. Obviously, conventional engines will continue to play a major role in the coming years: improving their efficiency and reducing their emissions are key factors and essential preconditions for meeting Europe's ambitious future environmental protection targets. However, it is equally clear that only the combination of conventional and alternative technologies can deliver tangible results in the immediate term.
Natural gas is the cleanest and most cost-efficient fuel on the market and the only real alternative petrol and diesel.
FCA and CNH Industrial are firmly convinced that innovation must yield immediate, tangible benefits for the environment and customers, and these priorities cannot wait. The technologies offered must deliver genuine solutions, available at once and accessible to all, because sustainability also means accessibility.
Today, natural gas is a mature technology, available at accessible prices, which can provide immediate solutions to the problems of pollution - especially in urban areas – and the reduction of CO2 emissions. There is no denying natural gas's potential for promoting both environmentally and economically sustainable mobility, since this fuel not only slashes emissions of harmful pollutants (fine particles, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons) and CO2 (23 percent less than with petrol) but is also currently the best value-for-money in terms of technology cost/environmental benefit ratio. A natural gas car or commercial vehicle costs little more than the equivalent conventional fuel version, but is significantly cheaper to run.
Last but not least, the development of natural gas also generates wider economic benefits: the natural gas network, in which Italy can proudly claim supremacy, employs some 20,000 people in component manufacturing, after-market services and filling stations, and increases Italian households' spending power thanks to the savings that the use of natural gas vehicles provides.
FCA was the first carmaker to commit to a factory-made methane vehicle (the Marea, in 1997), and it now has the widest methane range on the market, from the small Panda and Ypsilon to the Ducato van. For 20 years Fiat was the leading European company in CNG sales, and overall FCA has sold over 730,000 vehicles powered in this way.
IVECO leads the field in natural gas engine technology and has developed a wide range of vehicles operating on both CNG and LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas), quickly responding to the potential of natural gas for commercial and public service vehicles, sectors in which it is a key international player.
Together, FCA and IVECO are planning further expansion of their range of natural gas vehicles, already one of the world's most comprehensive, bringing even more innovations to an area of Italian technological excellence that sets the benchmark for foreign countries, their supremacy acknowledged worldwide, with an active role in the promotion of the offering and targeted marketing activities.
The new frontier in natural gas is already available today, and is called biomethane. It is a gas with exactly the same characteristics as natural gas but made from renewable sources with no environmental impact. It is an excellent solution for the mobility of the future that is already available for use today, with even more savings on fuel costs and ecological benefits.
Methane is already the cleanest fuel available today. It is a practical alternative to petrol and diesel with minimum harmful emissions: lower levels of particulate (nearly zero), nitrogen oxide and reactive hydrocarbons which can form other pollutants.
All these benefits are even greater with biomethane, especially the well to wheel footprint. For instance, a Fiat Panda running on methane has 31 percent lower emissions than the petrol equivalent, and the reduction increases to 57 percent if 40 percent biomethane is added to the natural gas. In other words, the reduction of pollutants is equal to that which can be achieved by an electric car charged with the current European energy mix. What's more, if the Fiat Panda is operated on 100 percent biomethane, CO2 emissions can be cut by as much as 97 per cent: basically, the same as for an electrical car charged only with electricity from renewable sources such as wind power.