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Fiat Oz considers Fiorino EV

Electricargo: Fiat's zero-emissions Fiorino van.

Fiat importer considers electric micro van for Australia

22 Sep 2008

PRICE will determine whether a zero-emissions electric version of Fiat’s forthcoming Fiorino micro van will be sold in Australia, according to importer Ateco Automotive.

To premiere at the Hanover International Commercial Vehicle Show this week, the Fiorino Electric will enter production in Europe in the final quarter of 2008 and extend the collaboration between Fiat and electric vehicle converter Micro-Vett, which brought electric versions of the larger Doblo van to market last year.

Conventional versions of the Fiorino are due to be launched in Australia by mid-2009, around the time that a decision on the electric model should have been reached.

The Fiorino EV sold overseas will feature a three-phase asynchronous electric motor that can output up to 60kW of power (with 30kW delivered continuously) and offer a range of more than 100km before recharging of the lithium-ion battery pack is required.

36 center imageLeft: Fiat Ducato Natural Power.

That latter is completed over six to eight hours when using a 3kW domestic mains supply, or in just three hours if a 9kW mains supply is available.

The batteries are housed in three high-resistance steel structures positioned around the vehicle but do not increase the vehicle’s overall dimensions – or reduce the load volume.

According to Fiat, the Fiorino EV can achieve acceleration to 50km/h in 6.4 seconds and reach a maximum speed of more than 100km/h. It also claims that a 20 per cent gradient can be climbed at full load – confirmation that, in urban areas, “electric traction represents a valid alternative to vehicles equipped with conventional engines”.

The motor has a nominal torque of 130Nm and can provide “transition torque” of 260Nm to ensure responsive performance from standstill and when climbing gradients.

A lower-output motor producing 15kW continuously up to a 30kW peak will also be offered.

The Fiorino is a product from the extensive joint-venture program between Fiat and Peugeot-Citroen PSA. It rolls down the line with the Citroen Nemo and Peugeot Bipper at a production facility in Bursa, Turkey.

Even smaller than the compact Berlingo, the standard Fiorino should be priced below the current compact van price point of around $16,000.

Conventional power choices overseas comprise two Euro IV emissions-compliant engines: a 54kW 1.4-litre petrol and a 56kW 1.3-litre turbo-diesel. The latter offers fuel consumption as low as 4.5L/100km.

Fiat will also use the Hanover show to introduce a compressed natural gas version of both the Fiorino and the Ducato, neither of which will be sold in Australia.

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