Reviews

Fiat E-Scudo review

Fiat’s medium-sized electric van offers just over 200 miles’ range and clever cargo solutions, but lacks the Ducato’s more impressive technology

Fiat E-Scudo
Overall rating

4.5 out of 5

Pros

  • 202-mile range
  • Comfortable to drive
  • Load-through bulkhead

Cons

  • Price increase over diesel Scudo
  • Lacks tech from latest Ducato
  • No one-pedal driving mode
ModelRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
50kWh141 miles7hrs 30mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)32mins (0-80%, 100kW)
75kWh202 miles11hrs 20mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)45mins (0-80%, 100kW)

Fiat’s first electric van was the E-Ducato, which arrived in 2021 and is set to rival the forthcoming Ford E-Transit. Now, the brand is turning its attention to the medium-sized van part of the LCV market with this new E-Scudo.

It draws on the technology available to Fiat now that it’s part of the Stellantis Group, and so features the same platform and powertrain as the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, Citroen e-Dispatch, Peugeot e-Expert and Toyota Proace Electric – which were jointly crowned Best Medium Electric Van in the 2022 DrivingElectric Awards.

That means you get a choice of a 50 or 75kWh battery, for ranges of 141 and 202 miles respectively. Regardless of your battery choice, you get a 134bhp electric motor powering the front wheels, which is enough to get up to the E-Scudo’s motorway-friendly top speed of 80mph with ease, even in ‘Normal’ mode.

The Scudo’s load capacity hasn’t been affected by the switch to electric power, topping out at 6.1 cubic metres of cargo volume, a one-tonne payload and one-tonne towing capacity for the long-wheelbase version. The standard-wheelbase model we drove offers 5.3 cubic metres of cargo volume in all. All versions get storage space under the front bench, a dash-top cubby and a load-through bulkhead that allows you carry longer cargo when needed. There are twin sliding doors, as well as ‘barn doors’ that can open to 180 degrees, offering plenty of ways to load up the rear.

While there are two wheelbases and body lengths available, there's no variation in roof height as you might expect. The E-Scudo does, however, come in crew cab and platform chassis forms, too, while a people-carrier version called the Fiat e-Ulysse is currently being considered for a 2023 UK launch.

Save for the badges on the steering wheel and front grille, the E-Scudo is identical to its Citroen, Peugeot, Toyota and Vauxhall counterparts. Behind the wheel is a set of analogue dials, with the rev counter replaced by an energy gauge for the electric powertrain. The simplicity of the setup makes it easy to read on the move, but the larger, diesel Ducato gets a fully digital driver’s display and large central touchscreen, which are overall more impressive to use. The larger van’s digital rear-view mirror hasn’t made its way down to the E-Scudo, either.

Thankfully, visibility in the E-Scudo is pretty good as-is, thanks to a large windscreen and side mirrors, and it’s easy to manoeuvre, even in tight streets and parking spaces. What’s more, there’s plenty of cabin space up front, with decent headroom, although the middle passengers’s legroom is hampered by the large central pod that houses the gear and driving-mode selectors. There are a lot of scratchy plastics about the place, but taken together with the large physical climate-control switches and other buttons, the E-Scudo feels built to last. 

Our first drive of the van took place on roads in and around Turin, Italy, where it stood up to the rough, cobbled roads fairly well, while also feeling refined and comfortable on the motorway. The car-like driving position in the E-Scudo certainly helps with the latter, although the high-pitched whine from the electric motor does chip away at refinement – however, it’s nothing you can’t mask by turning up the radio.

We left the powertrain in its default Normal for the most part, which still provided plenty of oomph to propel the E-Scudo with 300kg of weight in the back. We also kept the regenerative braking in its strong ‘B’ mode. While this combination did maintain the indicated range pretty well when navigating Turin’s tight streets, it wasn’t quite strong enough for one-pedal driving.

Over our 25-mile jaunt around the historic city and its surrounding motorways we used over 35 miles of range, which equates to 2.7 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh) efficiency. That’s about what you’d expect based on the claimed range for the 75kWh model we drove – and from this class of electric van in general.

Normal is the default driving mode, and perfect for everyday use. Eco attempts to maximise range by limiting the use of climate control and dulling throttle response considerably. As a result, you may find yourself pushing harder on the right pedal, and using more energy, to get up to speed, which doesn’t help extend the range by any means. Power is useful for when you’ve got a hefty payload on board, but with the full 134bhp on tap in that setting, the van’s range takes a hit.

The E-Scudo gets the same rapid-charging speed of 100kW as its mechanically identical siblings. Find a suitably fast charging point and a 50kWh E-Scudo will go from 0-80% battery capacity in 32 minutes, while the larger 75kWh battery requires 45 minutes for the same top-up. If you use a 7.4kW wallbox at home or a business premises, it'll take over seven hours to fully replenish the 50kWh battery and more than 11 to do the same for the 75kWh unit. The optional 11kW on-board charger will cut those times if you have access to a faster AC charging point at a premises with three-phase electricity.

On top of the two battery and wheelbase options, the E-Scudo offers a choice of two trim levels: Tecnico and Business. The basic model gets a laminated acoustic windscreen, full steel bulkhead, storage space under the front bench, twin sliding doors and 16-inch alloy wheels. Upgrading to Business adds a seven-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as body-coloured bumpers, rear parking sensors, a leather multifunction steering wheel and safety kit like road-sign recognition and blind-spot assist.

The E-Scudo Tecnico with the 50kWh battery starts from nearly £36,000 excluding VAT, however, the top-spec 75kWh version we drove comes in at over £42,000 before you add any options. Electric vans of this size are eligible for a £5,000 grant from the government, but there is still a price jump from the diesel equivalent.

If you can afford it, though, the Fiat E-Scudo is another impressive offering in the electric-van market. It’s comfortable, refined and efficient while making no compromises when it comes to the cargo space on offer. But the same is true for all four of the E-Scudo’s mechanically identical counterparts, and it’s disappointing that the larger Ducato from the same brand offers more impressive on-board technology than you get here.

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