Ford unveils E-Transit

Fully electric version of the bestselling Transit range claims an estimated range of 217 miles, lower TCO and no compromise on payload.

Ford has revealed the E-Transit, a fully electric version of its bestselling Transit range, with an estimated range of 217 miles, lower total cost of ownership (TCO) and no compromise on payload.

The E-Transit is aimed at urban environments, fixed drive routes and deliveries within geofenced zero-emission driving zones, without requiring fleet owners to pay for excess battery capacity they don’t need, Ford says. It has an estimated driving range of 217 miles on the combined WLTP cycle.

E-Transit’s drive modes are tailored to its electric powertrain. An Eco Mode aims to provide up to an 8-10% improvement in energy usage if E-Transit is driven unladen with spirited acceleration or at highway speeds, according to Ford data. Eco Mode limits top speed, regulates acceleration and optimises climate control to help maximise the available driving range.

The E-Transit can reduce service cost of ownership by about 40% compared with internal combustion engine equivalents, as a result of lower maintenance expenses, according to Ford.

In Europe, customers will benefit from a one-year, unlimited mileage service offering that sits alongside the eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty package for the battery and high-voltage electric components.

“Our clear mission to make our customers’ businesses thrive has helped to make Ford the leading commercial vehicle brand in Europe,” said Hans Schep, general manager commercial vehicles, Ford of Europe. “Electrification brings new ways for customers to manage their businesses and fleets more efficiently. With E-Transit this is delivered with more than 55 years of Transit expertise, a network of expert dealers and converters, and an ecosystem of digital tools that will help translate the potential of electrification into a business reality – all that, and the benefits of zero-emission transportation.“

Ford will also offer a variety of charging solutions to fit fleet and driver needs, whether at home, at a place of business or on the road. E-Transit features AC charging and DC fast-charging. The vehicle’s 11.3kW on-board charger can deliver a 100% charge in up to 8.2 hours. Charging with up to 115kW using a high-power DC fast-charger, E-Transit can top-up the battery from 15% to 80% in about 34 minutes.

E-Transit’s battery is located underneath the body, providing up to 15.1 cubic meters of cargo space, 8 the same as a rear-wheel drive diesel Transit.

Ford engineers redesigned E-Transit’s driveline and rear suspension system to optimise cargo space, creating a heavy-duty semi-trailing arm suspension system that enables better steering precision and more confident handling, plus better traction in both laden and unladen conditions.

E-Transit for customers in Europe targets up to 1,616kg payload for the van and up to 1,967kg for the chassis cab models.

The vehicle’s electric motor has a peak output of 198kW and 430Nm of torque, making it the most powerful motor of any fully electric cargo van sold in Europe, according to Ford.

In addition, the E-Transit features optional Pro Power Onboard, which enables customers to transform the vehicle into a mobile power source, providing up to 2.3kW for powering tools and equipment on the jobsite and on the go. This is an industry first for light commercial vehicles in Europe, Ford says.

The standard FordPass Connect modem delivers seamless connectivity to help commercial vehicle customers manage and optimise fleet efficiency, with a range of dedicated electric vehicle services available through the Ford Telematics fleet solution.

In Europe, Ford will offer 25 E-Transit configurations, with van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab body styles, multiple length and roof-height options, and a range of gross vehicle mass options up to 4.25 tonnes, to support a wide variety of customer needs.

Ford will undertake extensive customer fleet trials with E-Transit in key European markets, starting during 2021.

“Ford is North America and Europe’s commercial vehicle leader, so the transition of fleet vehicles to zero emissions, especially for the fast-growing last-mile delivery segment, is critical to achieve our carbon neutral goal by 2050,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO. “Ford is ready to lead the charge that started with its award-winning Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid and EcoBlue Hybrid. It’s good for the planet and a huge advantage for customers with lower operating costs and new connected technologies that will help their businesses.”

The E-Transit, which is scheduled to start arriving with European customers in early 2022, is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion global investment in electrification through 2022.

In Europe, Ford has been piloting electrified commercial vehicle technology since 2018, working with officials in England, Germany, Spain and Turkey to study how drivers used Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vehicles in London, Cologne, Valencia and Ankara. The company has applied those learnings – including on users’ vehicle use and charging habits – in developing E-Transit and its services.

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now the editor of our three commercial vehicle titles: The Van Expert, The Truck Expert and Commercial Vehicle Engineer.

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