As pressure mounts on urban operators to reduce their environmental impact, Ford has announced plans of an all-electric transit van set to launch in 2021.
Ford previewed a working prototype at the “Go Further” event, saying the new all-electric Transit will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities, and reduce running costs for commercial vehicle users.
The motor company is already involved in a joint project with StreetScooter to provide an all-electric solution targeted at the last-mile delivery sector. The Transit-based StreetScooter WORK XL, assembled at the Ford plant in Cologne, Germany, features an all-electric powertrain and is currently in service with Deutsche Post DHL in Germany.
Trials of Ford’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) are being undertaken in London. The vehicles front wheels are driven exclusively by an electric motor/generator, powered by a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine acting as a range extender. The hybrid powertrain targets a zero-emission driving range of up to 31 miles or 310 miles using the range extender.
The company is also developing a predictive usage-based maintenance system which will enable maintenance to be tailored for each vehicle rather being determined by fixed service intervals.
“Commercial customers need smarter, more integrated solutions, built around a connected business environment,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.
In January, Ford and Volkswagen agreed an alliance which will involve Ford building medium-sized pick-ups for both companies. Ford intends to engineer and build larger commercial vans for European customers and Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.