Ford has announced that the first European customer trials of the new E-Transit – the all-electric version of its widely popular cargo van – will soon be underway.
Prototype E-Transit vehicles will be joining customer fleets to operate in challenging real-world conditions with major businesses in the supermarket, home delivery, postal services and utilities sectors across Germany, Norway and the UK.
Ford’s European customer trials are part of an extensive development programme for E‑Transit ahead of its launch in spring 2022. Beginning late summer this year, they have been designed to confirm that the all-electric van can comfortably meet the demands of a wide range of operating scenarios.
Ford engineers will use data from the trials to help refine E‑Transit’s next-level connected vehicle technology and range management features to offer an optimised operating experience for customers.
Prototype vehicles taking part in the trial will include E-Transit van and chassis cab variants with conversions including refrigerated bodies, box vans, drop sides and interior racking.
European customers will be offered a wide variety of choices of body, length, roof height and Gross Vehicle Mass options from launch, giving 25 possible variants to suit a wide range of businesses.
As we reported, E-Transit, which will start arriving with European customers in early 2022, is part of Ford’s $11.5 billion global investment in electrification through 2022. The van will be equipped with a usable battery capacity of 67kWh offering an estimated driving range of up to 217 miles on the combined WLTP cycle.
Ford said in February that its entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of Ford’s commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
These trials are a key component for Ford to be able to achieve its ambitious goal, according to Andrew Mottram, E-Transit chief programme engineer, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.
“Real-world trials are an important step on our journey to deliver the all-electric E‑Transit and will give us an even better understanding of how to help customers across different industries enhance their productivity using zero-emission power,” he said.