Ford’s new plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van made its debut at the recent Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle event in Millbrook, UK. Scheduled for volume production in 2019, the Transit Custom PHEV is expected to have a 31-mile electric range, and features Ford’s EcoBoost 1.0-liter gasoline engine as a range extender. The liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack is located under the load floor, preserving the full cargo volume offered by the legacy Transit Custom van.
Ford is preparing 20 PHEV Transits for a 12-month fleet customer trial in London that will begin later this year. In the trial project, which is supported by Transport for London, several businesses and agencies, including the Metropolitan Police, will integrate the vans into their day-to-day operations. A telematics system will collect real-time data on the vans’ performance.
The vehicles will feature geofencing technology, which can automatically modify a vehicle’s settings based on its current location. This could be used, for example, to switch to electric-only mode when a vehicle enters an inner-city low-emission zone.
“For more than 50 years businesses have relied on Ford Transits to get the job done, and we are determined to maintain that tradition as we move into the electric age,” said Mark Harvey, Director, Urban Electrified Van Programme, Ford of Europe.
“Cleaner vans, like those being used in this trial, will be vital in helping the freight and fleet sector to reduce emissions and play its part in tackling the capital’s air quality crisis,” said Lilli Matson, Transport for London’s Director of Transport Strategy. “We are also using the data from the trial, which will be an invaluable resource for our LoCITY programme that encourages commercial businesses to use greener vehicles.”