Ford Transit plug-in hybrid van unveiled

Ford Transit plug in hybrid electric vanFord’s plug-in hybrid electric Transit Custom van has made its dynamic debut at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2017 event at Millbrook.

The Ford Transit Custom PHEV has an advanced hybrid system that targets a zero-emission range in excess of 31 miles and features the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine as a range extender to give a total range of some 310 miles.

The PHEV approach not only gives a better range than a battery only vehicle, but also offers a higher payload and the ability to offer quick and easy recharging from a standard electricity supply.

“For more than 50 years businesses have relied on Ford Transit 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.

Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market. The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while the compact and fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine generates additional charge for the batteries when required. The Transit Custom PHEV uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, with the vehicle’s wheels driven exclusively by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine.

The battery pack is a compact liquid-cooled lithium-ion design located under the load floor, preserving the full cargo volume offered by the standard Transit Custom van.

PHEV van features geo-fencing technology, which is capable of automatically modifying vehicle settings based on each van’s current location. This could be used, for example, to ensure the hybrid system is switched to electric-only mode when a vehicle enters a low-emission zone within an inner-city area.

Volume production is scheduled to start in 2019.