The E-Transit, an all-electric version of the Ford Transit van, has been revealed. Featuring connected technologies and services, with the capabilities you would expect from a Transit, this pure-electric version promises a 217-mile range and enhanced productivity.
Ford claims that the new E-Transit will allow users to operate more sustainably, and offers clear business advantages. The van 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, when comparing scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance items for a battery-electric vs. a similar diesel-powered van.
As demand for delivery vehicles grows, cities around the world 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 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,” commented 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.”
Ford E-Transit: Electric Drivetrain
The vehicle’s electric motor has a peak output of 269hp, with 430Nm of torque, making it the most powerful motor of any fully electric cargo van sold in Europe. Power goes through the rear wheels.
With a usable battery capacity of 67kWh, E-Transit offers an estimated driving range of up to 217 miles, roughly three times the distance the average European fleet driver covers daily. This should provide 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 zero-emission driving zones, without requiring fleet owners to pay for excess battery capacity they don’t need.
An Eco drive mode aims to provide up to an 8-10 percent improvement in energy usage if E-Transit is driven unladen at highway speeds, according to Ford data. Eco mode limits top speed, regulates acceleration and optimises climate control to help extend the available driving range.
Ford 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. The vehicle’s 11.3kW on-board charger is capable of delivering a 100 percent charge in a little over eight hours. Rapid charging at up to 115kW will allow the E-Transit to be topped-up from 15 per cent to 80 per cent in around 34 minutes.
Ford E-Transit: Cargo Capacity
E-Transit offers European customers a choice of body, length, roof height and Gross Vehicle Mass options, giving 25 possible variants. Payload is targeted up to 1,616kg for the van and up to 1,967kg for the chassis cab models. Collaborations with hundreds of converters and vehicle modifiers worldwide, who provide compatible racks, bins and accessories on diesel-powered Transits, will continue with the E-Transit.
E-Transit’s battery is located underneath the body, minimising its impact on cargo capacity, and leaving it providing up to 15.1 cubic meters of space, the same as a rear-wheel-drive diesel Transit.
Ford engineers redesigned E-Transit’s driveline and rear suspension system, 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.
Ford E-Transit: Technology
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 brings Sync 4, Ford’s communications and entertainment technology, to commercial vehicles, featuring a standard 12.0-inch touchscreen, plus voice recognition and cloud-enhanced navigation. With over-the-air updates, E‑Transit’s software and Sync technology will benefit from the latest 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 technologies designed to help reduce driver-based insurance claims. These include automatic emergency braking, blind-spot information system with lane change assist, and a 360-degree camera with reverse brake assist. Along with adaptive cruise control, these features can help maintain fleet safety standards and reduce the risk of accidents.
The optional Pro Power Onboard, first seen on the Ford F-150 pickup, system turns E-Transit into a mobile power source with up to 2.3kW to help customers use tools and recharge equipment at job sites – an industry first for light commercial vehicles in Europe.
Driver’s lives are also made easier thanks to 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. This can leave a van defrosted in winter before the driver has even had breakfast, and ensures that the maximum driving range is available.
Ford E-Transit: Price and Availability
Deliveries of the Ford E-Transit aren’t expected until early 2022, following trials with key fleet customers in 2021. Pricing information will be released nearer the time, but expect a significant uplift from the regular diesel-powered models.