Electric Vans – Ford Transit PHEV Coming 2019
22 February 2018
After making its debut at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2017, all eyes are on Ford’s new plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Transit Custom this year.
Here’s what to expect from the new plug-in hybrid ahead of its 2019 release.
Introducing PHEV technology
The release of the 2019 Transit Custom PHEV makes Ford the first volume manufacturer to bring PHEV technology to this segment of the van market. With many companies relying on Ford Transits to carry out their work, the surprising new step for Ford means the 2019 Transit Custom could help to massively reduce carbon emissions and operating costs within our cities.
A city van
The 2019 Transit Custom PHEV is expected to provide 31 miles of zero emissions travel from a full charge. That’s enough to cover most city delivery rounds, massively reducing the pollution caused by short city trips.
Unlike other hybrid models, the Transit Custom PHEV use the electric motor to drives the wheels at all times.
If the driver needs a little more mileage, the PHEV Transit Custom will use Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine as a range extender. Rather than driving the wheels directly, the EcoBoost engine jumps in to charge the on-board batteries and generate additional electricity for driving the wheels while on the go.
Going the distance
The Transit Custom PHEV offers quick and easy recharging from a standard electricity supply but isn’t limited in the same ways as battery-only vehicles. To eliminate range anxiety, the Transit Custom PHEV uses petrol fuel for a target total range of more than 310 miles. This petrol supply can be used if the electricity supply runs out, but drivers can also use it to prioritise the electric power in low-emission zones.
The PHEV’s geofencing technology means the vehicle can automatically modify its settings based on its current location – a feature that’s especially useful for inner-city driving. That means, for example, that the hybrid system can be switched to electric-only mode when travelling through a low-emission zone. This will happen automatically without the need to hunt through lots of settings.
With the help of a £4.7 million grant from the government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre and the support of Transport for London, 20 PHEV Transits will take part in a trial period in London. The 12-month Cleaner Air for London fleet customer trial will put the van’s hybrid system to the test in the toughest environment for vehicles, monitoring how the new vans can help cities reach cleaner air targets.
This trial takes place ahead of the vehicle’s mass production, which is due to begin in 2019.
Although the Transit Custom PHEV trial could revolutionise London’s roads, Ford has set its sights globally. The London trial is part of Ford’s global electrification commitment and $4.5 billion investment in manufacturing electric vehicles. The company’s plans include 13 new electrified vehicles and a strategy that will mean 70% of Ford vehicles sold in China have powertrain options by 2025.
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