So far Ford’s only venture into the electric commercial vehicle market has been the Ford Transit Custom Hybrid and that’s all geared up to change with Ford’s all-electric Transit and its starting to work on European roads as customer trials commence with a selection of major fleet operators ahead of the volume sales launch in spring 2022.
Big Fleets take the e-Transit on trial
There are 10 E-Transit prototypes being tested across a variety of operating conditions with large European players such as AWB waste disposal, Balfour Beatty, the City of Cologne municipal fleet, DHL Express in the UK, DPD, Norwegian Post, Ocado and Recover Nordic, covering Germany, Norway and the UK. Trials partners will operate the vehicle over six- or 12-month periods.
The trials fleet features a full range of E-Transit variants including van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab derivatives with gross vehicle masses from 3.5 to the maximum gross vehicle weight allowed for a alternatively fuelled van at 4.25 tonnes, and a variety of specialised vehicle conversions that reflect the complex operating requirements that Transit vehicles need to support.
Not just the van but conversions as well
E-Transit has been carefully engineered to allow simple and straightforward conversion using the same fixtures and fittings developed for existing Transit models. A selection of the trial vehicles have been converted – with support from the Ford-approved Qualified Vehicle Modifier network – to help demonstrate the versatility of the E-Transit platform. Examples of the conversions include:
- Refrigerated box body for grocery delivery, powered by 2.3kW ProPower Onboard system
- Dropside body for construction with light beacons and weight sensors
- Caged tipper for refuse removal
- Last-mile delivery box body with walkthrough bulkhead and rear air suspension
- Last-mile delivery van with bonded internal racking, walkthrough bulkhead and front jump seat
“We want to demonstrate that helping customers reduce their environmental impact can go hand-in-hand with improving their productivity,” said Dave Petts, market lead, urban electrified vans, Ford of Europe. “Real-world mileage in customer hands helps us to show the business benefits that E-Transit can deliver, as well as providing valuable feedback on usage patterns and charging behaviour so that we can refine the operating experience. We firmly believe in treating our customers like family, and this programme highlights the value we place on those close partnerships.”