Automotive giant Ford will be introducing an electric version of our most popular van, the Transit.
The new Transit plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) will be part of Ford’s global electrification strategy, which includes plans for 13 new electrified car and commercial vehicle models over the next five years.
Mark Fields, Ford CEO: “As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles that make people’s lives better. Our investments and expanding line-up reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”
The European engineered Transit Custom PHEV is expected to arrive in 2018. In the meantime, a test fleet is due to be trialled across London as part of a project to explore how commercial vehicles can contribute to cleaner air targets whilst working efficiently in urban conditions.
In conjunction with Transport for London (TFL) and the Government’s Advanced Propulsion Centre, a fleet of 20 prototype Transit PHEVs will be introduced into a range of commercial fleets operating in the capital later this year, running only on electric power whilst making typical delivery and maintenance journeys within the city.
Jim Farley, CEO, Ford of Europe said: “This exciting project in London shows how innovative technology can help improve the prosperity and quality of life in our congested cities.”
Other manufacturers are also looking at developing electrified commercial vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz who are planning to launch a battery based Sprinter in coming years.
In addition to the environmental positives, benefits for prospective owners of electric vehicles are that they tend to depreciate slower than conventional vehicles, refuelling is cheaper and maintenance costs are lower.