Van drivers now have the choice of a plug-in hybrid in the form of the one-tonne Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, as well as the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid eight-seat people-mover.
The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid starts from £39,145 excluding VAT for Leader trim; £40,595 for Trend and £42,950 for Limited.
The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid van can be charged with mains electricity for a pure electric driving range of up to 35 miles – contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the vehicle to enter the growing number of ultra-low-emission vehicle zones being introduced across Europe.
The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid’s front wheels are driven by a 92.9kW electric motor powered by a 13.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Ford’s 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine acts as a range extender for total driving range exceeding 310 miles, 91.7mpg fuel efficiency and 60g/km CO2 emissions.
A net payload of 1,130kg and unchanged load volume of 6.0m3 are facilitated by packaging of the compact battery pack beneath the floor. The battery pack is covered by a standard eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.
The new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid is available to order now with first deliveries before the end of the year.
FordPass Connect features as standard, introduced from spring 2020 and available for retro-fitment to earlier vehicles, a new Geofencing module will be able to automatically switch the vehicle to zero-emission driving EV Now mode when entering a low-emission zone. The technology will help ensure businesses comply with regulations and avoid charges or penalties.
Ford is also introducing a new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid eight-seat people-mover, utilising the same powertrain technology.
A charging port located within the front bumper enables the new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid to be charged in 4.3 hours using a domestic 240-volt 10-amp power supply, or 2.7 hours using a commercial type-2 AC vehicle charger. Additional electrical energy is captured through regenerative charging when the vehicle decelerates or brakes.
Four selectable EV modes enable the driver to choose how and when to use the available battery charge:
• EV Auto is intended to provide the optimum blend of performance and efficiency. The vehicle’s control algorithms monitor battery energy levels and the current driving scenario – such as whether motorway or stop-start driving – to decide whether to activate the range extender
• EV Now prioritises usage of stored battery energy for emissions-free driving, deactivating the range extender until battery levels reach a minimum state of charge
• EV Later prioritises the range extender and leverages regenerative charging to most efficiently maintain the current level of battery charge, ready for later use
• EV Charge utilises the range extender to power the vehicle and to top up the battery for when further EV Now travel is needed.
Drivers can also choose the degree of energy recovery and braking assistance afforded by the regenerative charging system by selecting either Drive or Low on the gear selector. Releasing the accelerator pedal in Low-mode increases programmed deceleration, automatically illuminating the brake lights when necessary to warn drivers behind. The greater deceleration supports greater use of a one-pedal driving approach, particularly in stop-and-start urban scenarios, increasing the amount of kinetic energy recovered and stored in the battery for optimised electric driving range.
Inside the cabin, a power/charge gauge replaces the standard rev counter. Optimised following feedback from participants in Ford’s year-long real-world Transit Plug-In Hybrid trial in London, the gauge clearly visualises real-time energy recuperation to help drivers maximise electric driving range.
A smaller gauge for battery state of charge replaces the engine coolant temperature indicator and trip computer functions are configured specifically for the hybrid powertrain. EV mode indicators, maintenance alerts and a warning when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point, appear on the instrument display cluster. A status graphic displaying distance-to-empty for both the battery and range extender is visible on all screen displays.
In combination with the standard FordPass Connect on-board modem, the FordPass mobile app enables drivers to remotely monitor their vehicle’s charge status. From spring 2020, Ford’s recently launched FordPass Pro app – specifically designed to support smaller firms and owner drivers to maximise their productivity – will allow customers to check on the battery state of charge for up to five vehicles.
Ford is also introducing a new smartphone and tablet application that will enable its plug-in hybrid vehicle owners and operators to easily locate, navigate to and pay for charging. In partnership with NewMotion, Ford offers access to the largest public charging network with extensive coverage across Europe. The new app will deliver simplified access and payment for Ford customers at more than 118,000 charging points in 30 countries. Customers will be able to seamlessly utilise charging points across many markets, initiating and paying for charging services from a single account for a simplified ownership experience.
Ford also recently announced it will partner with six leading energy suppliers across Europe to provide home charging wall box installation services and green energy tariffs for plug-in hybrid customers, including Centrica to offer services in the U.K. and Ireland. Ford’s wall box solution will deliver up to 50 per cent more charging power than a typical domestic socket, to reduce at-home charging times by up to one-third for customers of Ford’s plug-in hybrid models.
The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid will be offered in a single L1 H1 variant, with Van or Kombi bodystyles. The Van model is available in a choice of Base, Trend and high-specification Limited series. Cabin air-conditioning and a heated windscreen are standard on all vehicles, and available equipment includes Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, featuring an eight-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures.
FordPass Connect on-board modem technology features as standard, enabling businesses to optimise productivity and vehicle utilisation through solutions such as the new Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services products launching later this year, and the new FordPass Pro app.
Available driver assistance technologies include Active Park Assist and Lane-Keeping Alert supported by standard electric power-assisted steering that is optimised for city driving and easy manoeuvring in busy commercial environments.
Two new features designed to provide important additional customer benefits for the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid will be introduced from spring 2020.
To help ensure Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid uses pure-electric power in low-emission zones, the standard Geofencing module automatically switches the vehicle to EV Now mode when entering such a zone, or a user-specified geofenced area.
The module can be controlled via an app and captures encrypted information about electric-only operation within geofenced zones that can be securely shared with local authorities to confirm compliance to low-emission zone regulations. By removing the risk of accidentally straying into a charge zone while using the range extender, the geofencing module could reduce operator stress and save businesses money from fines and penalties.
An optional 12-volt Epower Pack will enable operators to run high-power electrical equipment such as power tools or site lights from the vehicle’s high-voltage battery, using an easily accessible connection delivering up to 6kW of power.
Also available to order before the end of this year, the first-in-class eight-seater Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-mover shares the advanced hybrid drivetrain of the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid. Delivering 79.1mpg fuel efficiency, 70g/km CO2 emissions and a pure electric driving range of up to 33 miles, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid, offered in Titanium specification, is also covered by Ford’s eight-year/100,000-mile battery pack warranty.
The results of Ford’s year-long real-world trial of Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vehicles in London suggest that plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicles could present the most practical, readily available option for businesses trying to meet clean-air targets in cities.
A fleet of 20 prototype Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans covering more than 150,000 miles aimed to test whether businesses could carry out the typical daily duties of their diesel-powered vehicles, while maximising the use of zero-emissions electric-only driving mode.
During the trial, 75 per cent of the fleet’s mileage in Central London and 49 per cent in Greater London was completed using pure electric power. The results highlight that even without a fully established electric vehicle charging network, the hybrid vans were able to dramatically reduce tailpipe emissions in the inner city, using the flexibility of a petrol range extender to complete longer journeys when required.
Further trials in Cologne, Germany, and Valencia, Spain, will provide data from different markets, cities and customer types, and will involve a mix of Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans and Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-movers.
Ford earlier this year announced that a new all-electric Ford Transit van will join the Transit range – anticipated for volume launch in 2021. The company also announced that every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate will include an electrified option – either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric.