Fiat’s Ulysse started life as a small minivan in the 90s which was produced jointly alongside French automakers PSA and Italian brand Lancia, an uninspiring but practical workhorse for the busy family.
It certainly wasn’t groundbreaking or revolutionary like the novel Ulysses from which it seems to owe its name – but like Odysseus, the other name for the Greek legendary king, it is hoping to return home and take its place as champion in the kingdom of inexpensive van-EVs.
Volkswagen’s upcoming ID. Buzz is a compact van that will bring electric power to those who pride style and heritage above all else, but the E-Ulysse will be potentially bigger and crucially, should be cheaper than the more premium Buzz.
As PSA and Fiat-Chrysler merge under the demigod-like automaker Stellantis, with its 14 brands under one roof; it makes sense for Fiat to provide its own version of the French Volkswagen Transporter rival.
The Ulysse from Fiat, Is An Up-To-Date Van-EV To Bring Electric Power To Busy People
Just like the Citroën and Peugeot, a 50kWh and 75kWh battery can be yours in the E-Ulysse with a range of up to 330km or 205 miles in the larger battery, top speed will be around 80 mph and 60 mph will take up to around 12 seconds with only 136 hp on tap: this is no Tesla-like EV such as a Model X but that misses the point by some margin.
Along with the climate-friendly and hopefully cheap electric powertrain - which takes 8 hours on a wall box at home – safety features and comfort are a priority.
Practicality first and foremost, with up to 8 seats and 900 liters of space up back with those seats in place ensure there is space for everybody and their dog with foldable and slid-able chairs offering many combinations.
Fiat’s Ulysse Is A Good All-Rounder, Offering Everything You Need In A Discrete Package
Infotainment is present as always, with a slightly-small-looking screen in the middle which comes with Android and Apple compatibility, something a Rivian R1S SUV will not - for much more cash.
The screen however is small at 7” and highlights just how focussed this van is on providing all the technology and equipment without unnecessarily big screens or abundance of style.
Perhaps this is how things should be if people are to be able to afford electric vehicles on a budget, but still need space practicality and features.
Features are numerous as you would expect in 2022 – if you are willing to pay for them – with lane departure warning, traffic signal recognition, and much more along with things like xenon headlamps, cruise control, parking assistance, and grip control for those excursions into places with mud, sand, snow or lava.
These vans should sell well especially with government incentives in place and the option of fast charging either at home or publicly, as EVs take off globally, it’s a chance for Stellantis to enter this market now while competition is low and under-developed compared to smaller and higher-volume cars and SUVs.
As Fiat has a head start on Volkswagen here, with no budget-level transporter current available, they are well-placed in this expanding market, just don’t go expecting ID. Buzz levels of style and you will be ok.