Customer trials of the new Ford E-Transit have begun in Europe ahead of the all-electric van’s 2022 launch, and it could come to Australia.
Real-world trials of Ford’s E-Transit van have begun ahead of the all-electric van’s launch in Q1 2022. The prototype E-Transits are being used in the UK, Norway, and Germany, as part of fleets for supermarket deliveries, postal services, and parcel delivery, amongst other duties.
As well as standard panel van versions of the new E-Transit, the fleet trials also include a range of other variants including specialised conversion models like a refrigerated box body and a caged tipper. Trials partners will operate the E-Transit prototypes over six- or 12-month periods.
When it launches officially, the E-Transit will serve as a direct rival to the growing number of large pure-electric vans, such as the Citroen e-Relay, Fiat E-Ducato, Mercedes eSprinter, Peugeot e-Boxer, Renault Master E-TECH and Volkswagen e-Crafter. Like them, the electric Ford Transit isn’t aimed at companies that do long-distance haulage but rather ‘last-mile’ type deliveries in cities.
The E-Transit features a 67kWh usable battery capacity for a range of 349km – impressive for a large van. If you have a three-phase, 11kW power source at work, the E-Transit can be charged to full in eight hours. It also has 115kW rapid-charging capability, which means it can go from 15 to 80 per cent capacity in just over half an hour from a public charge point.
The E-Transit will use a 198kW electric motor with a peak torque figure of 430Nm; this will make it one of the most powerful electric van models available and adept at carrying heavy loads. There’ll also be different driving modes to choose from. For example, Eco limits top speed and acceleration, as well as the climate control, allowing an estimated 8 to 10 per cent more range.
Load space is just over 15 cubic metres with the Ford in its standard configuration – the same as the rear-wheel-drive diesel Transit. It’ll also have a useful maximum payload of 1,616kg, with the chassis cab version increasing that to 1,967kg. There’ll be 25 configurations for the E-Transit in Europe, including panel-van, double-cab-in-van and chassis-cab bodies, as well as multiple length and height options, plus a range of gross vehicle mass (GVM) options up to 4.25 tonnes.
Like many electric cars, you can set the heating or air-conditioning to come on and pre-condition the van’s cab while charging, which is useful for getting on with the working day more quickly. Inside the cab, there’s a 12-inch touchscreen with Ford’s latest SYNC 4 software, including voice commands, sat nav and over-the-air updates.
The Ford will also include safety kit such as traffic-sign recognition, an intelligent speed limiter, pre-collision assistance, blind-spot monitoring, lane-changing assistance, a 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control. There’ll even be an on-board modem to help owners manage, monitor and optimise their fleet.
Running-costs savings are assured due to the lower cost of electricity compared to diesel, while Ford estimates the E-Transit will be 40 per cent cheaper to service than its diesel-engined equivalent. Its battery will come with an eight-year/160,000km guarantee. The battery can be used to power more than just the van’s electric motor: an optional feature called ‘Pro Power Onboard’ lets the E-Transit be used as a mobile power source, providing up to 2.3kW for operating tools and other equipment.
The E-Transit will join the Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid and Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid in the brand’s range of electrified commercial vehicles, along with the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid and forthcoming Mustang Mach-E in its passenger-car range. It’ll be built alongside the hybrid Transit Custom at Ford’s Otosan Kocaeli factory in Turkey.
Ford has also announced that the next generation of the Transit Custom will also get a fully electric version. A commercial version of Ford’s all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, has also been unveiled, however, there are no indications either the commercial or regular F-150 Lighting will be making their way to British shores anytime soon.