Leading the charge: Ford’s E-Transit rewrites the rules…

Combining the tough and cost-effective dependability of the market-leading Transit with next-level software and some clever tricks, means that the E-Transit – arriving in the UK in spring 2022 – has reset the rules on electric vehicles.

From thoughtful design – such as having the charge socket at the front (rather than the side in a fuel-filler position) so it can use public chargers – to being zero-emission, meaning it can access zero-emission zones that others can’t, the design also delivers up to WLTP 217 miles (350km) range. This is roughly three times the distance the average EU fleet driver covers daily.

And, a function that’s likely to be very popular with tradespeople is a socket at the rear of the van, so it can supply power for work tools, or recharge them – an industry first for light commercial vehicles in Europe

The E-Transit will be available as a van and chassis cab, making it ideal for bodybuilders and converters. The payload is targeted up to 1,616kg for the van and up to 1,967kg for chassis cab models.

Lower maintenance expenses help deliver estimated 40 per cent saving in service cost of ownership versus diesel models. And, E-Transit offers best-in-class, one-year, unlimited mileage service intervals.

Ford has also chosen to talk of a 67kWh battery – this is ‘usable’ power v the  ‘installed’ – which is 75kWh, used by all other OEMs. So it compares apples with apples.

Ford has decided to use ‘usable’ as this is the key benchmark for charging calculations, but also what convertors need to know when fitting their ancillary EV equipment. 

Ford Ford, the world’s cargo van leader, describes the E-Transit, as a “smart workhorse that will offer customers enhanced productivity enabled by its fully electric powertrain, software solutions, services and Pro Power Onboard options.”

Says Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO: “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.”

“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 new E-Transit is backed by Ford’s powerhouse of over 1,800 global Commercial Vehicle dealers – including its 1,000-strong European network of Transit Centres – for easy sales and service.

E-Transit also benefits from collaborations with hundreds of converters and vehicle modifiers worldwide, who provide compatible racks, bins and accessories on diesel-powered Transits.

While most newcomers in the van business are still building prototypes, developing testing protocols and addressing difficult usage conditions, Ford’s commercial vehicle ecosystem is expanding to include electric vehicle monitoring software and connected solutions for fleets to seamlessly integrate into day-to-day operations.

“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”

Jim Farley, President and CEO, Ford

“We are doubling down on the software and digital services to help our fleet customers grow and more efficiently run their businesses,” Mr Farley said.

Ford – which is the leading commercial vehicle brand in Europe and North America – has been making Transit family vehicles for 55 years and commercial vehicles since 1905.

The company will build E‑Transits for European customers at the Ford Otosan Kocaeli plant in Turkey on a dedicated line alongside the award-winning Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid.

The vehicle will be produced for North American customers at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

Driving to go greener

Even as demand for delivery vehicles grows, cities around the world – from London to Los Angeles – are pledging to create emission-free zones, reduce greenhouse gas levels and lower noise pollution.

“More construction, emergency vehicles and utility services choose Ford commercial trucks and vans over any other manufacturer – and we’re committed to helping customers make the transition to zero-emission technology,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform operations officer.

“E-Transit is a data rich, connected platform that will help our fleet customers unlock greater productivity. The value for our commercial customers grows over time as more connected vehicles join the network.”

The charging socket is thoughtfully at the front (rather than the side in a fuel-filler position) so the E-Transit can use public charge points

E-Transit, which starts arriving with European customers in early 2022, is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion global investment in electrification through 2022. The all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E will be in European dealerships from early next year and the fully electric F‑150 starts hitting North American dealers in mid-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.

Range, charging solutions tailored for business

With a usable battery capacity of 67 kWh, E-Transit offers an estimated driving range of up to 350 km on the combined WLTP cycle, providing enough range to meet daily requirements, but with sufficient additional capacity to account for variations in vehicle load and weather conditions.

This makes E-Transit ideal for 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.

E-Transit’s drive modes are tailored to its electric powertrain. A special Eco Mode aims to provide up to an 8-10 per cent improvement in energy usage if E-Transit is driven unladen with spirited acceleration or at highway speeds, according to Ford data.

“A special Eco Mode aims to provide up to a 10% improvement in energy usage if E-Transit is driven unladen with spirited acceleration or at highway speeds”

Eco Mode limits top speed, regulates acceleration and optimises climate control to help maximise the available driving range.

The vehicle also supports Scheduled Pre-Conditioning, enabling the climate control system to be programmed to adjust the cabin to the preferred temperature while the vehicle is still on charge, ensuring that the maximum driving range is available.

E-Transit not only helps companies operate more sustainably, it offers clear business advantages. E-Transit can reduce service cost of ownership by approximately 40 per cent compared with internal combustion engine-equipped models, as a result of lower maintenance expenses.

In Europe, customers will benefit from a best-in-class, one-year, unlimited mileage service offering that sits alongside the eight-year, 160,000 km warranty package for the battery and high-voltage electric components.

A one-year, unlimited-mileage service offering sits alongside the eight-year, 160,000km 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 also will 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 both AC charging and DC fast-charging.

The vehicle’s 11.3 kW on-board charger is capable of delivering a 100 per cent charge in up to 8.2 hours.

Charging with up to 115 kW using a high-power DC fast-charger, E‑Transit can top-up the battery from 15 per cent to 80 per cent in around 34 minutes.

More power, connectivity on the go

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

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.

E-Transit also brings SYNC 4 communications and entertainment technology to commercial vehicles, featuring a standard easy-to-use 12-inch touchscreen, plus enhanced voice recognition and available cloud-enhanced navigation.

With SYNC over-the-air updates, E‑Transit’s software and SYNC technology will benefit from the latest new features and quality enhancements.

On the road with navigation enabled, fleet operators can benefit from advanced driver assistance technologies including Traffic Sign Recognition and Intelligent Speed Assist, which together identify speed restrictions and allow fleet managers to set vehicle speed limits.

Additionally, E-Transit features an array of available technologies designed to help fleet customers reduce driver-based insurance claims.

These include Pre-Collision Assist, Blind Spot Information System with Lane Change Warning & Aid and a 360-degree camera with Reverse Brake Assist.

Along with Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, these features can help maintain fleet safety standards and reduce the risk of accidents.

Delivered with the capability Transit customers love 

Designed with uncompromised cargo volume capacity, E-Transit’s battery is located underneath the body, providing up to 15.1 cubic meters of cargo space, 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 1,616 kg payload for the van and up to 1,967 kg for the chassis cab models.

The vehicle’s electric motor has a peak output of 198 kW (269 PS) and 430 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful motor of any fully electric cargo van sold in Europe. The rear-wheel drive layout ensures outstanding traction when the vehicle is heavily laden.

In Europe, Ford will offer a generous choice of 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.

Following the successful city partnerships featuring the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, Ford will be undertaking extensive customer fleet trials with E-Transit in key European markets, starting during 2021.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification; mobility solutions, including self-driving services; and connected services.  Ford employs approximately 187,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com

Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 45,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and consolidated joint ventures and approximately 58,000 people when unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 18 manufacturing facilities (12 wholly owned facilities and six unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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