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Ford E-Transit Review

The all-electric Ford E-Transit delivers up to 1,711 kg of payload, a range of up to 196 miles, zero tailpipe emissions, reduced running costs, as well as a better driving experience than a diesel van.

  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
  • Ford E-Transit
Green Car Guide Rating: 8/10

Key stats

  • Model/Engine size:   Ford E-Transit Trend 350 L3 H2 68kWh battery 135kW
  • Fuel:   Electric
  • Electric driving range (WLTP): 166-196 miles
  • Maximum rapid charging rate:   115 kW

Summary

  • Zero tailpipe emissions
  • Reduced running costs
  • Better to drive than a diesel van
  • Three body styles, two heights, three lengths

Background

There’s been an ever-increasing range of electric cars on sale for a number of years now, but it’s taken longer for all-electric vans to be available, particularly large vans. A significant milestone is that you can now buy an electric Ford Transit. So has Ford got its electric Transit right first time?

Ford E-TransitFord E-Transit

Design & Engineering

The Ford E-Transit has a 68kWh battery, an electric motor with 184 PS of power and 430 Nm of torque, and it’s rear-wheel drive.

The E-Transit looks like a regular Transit, although the blue details on the grille of the electric model give the game away.

The E-Transit is available as a van, a van with a double cab, or just as a cab and chassis, and there are two height and three length variations. In total there are 25 different configurations, with up to 15.1 cubic metres of cargo space and up to 1,711 kg of payload.

Ford E-TransitFord E-Transit

Ford E-Transit Driving Experience

The headline is that the Ford E-Transit is much better to drive than a diesel Ford Transit. The E-Transit is quiet and refined, with responsive acceleration, and with independent rear suspension, even the ride quality is good.

Any form of manual gearbox and clutch is long gone, instead there’s a single-speed transmission, ensuring the E-Transit is easy to drive. The transmission is controlled by a rotary dial for R, N and D, and in the middle of the dial is a button marked ‘L’. In most EVs such a button would be for ‘Park’, but Ford has chosen to put the button for increased brake regeneration here, and given it the abbreviation of ‘L’ for lift-off (ie. L mode captures increased energy when the driver lifts off the accelerator).

There’s a large 12-inch touchscreen with four small buttons underneath; one of these buttons is for the drive modes, which are Eco, Normal and Slippery. The drive modes can also be accessed through the touchscreen, via the ‘Features’ screen. Heating and ventilation controls are permanently displayed at the bottom of the screen.

One feature that doesn’t have a clear, permanent button to select it is the radio. There’s a small box for media on the home screen which can bring up sources, allowing you to choose the radio, but aside from this, it’s not all easy to select the radio.

Overall the E-Transit is an easy and likeable vehicle to live with, however there’s one essential feature that’s missing – there’s no reversing camera. To us, this is very baffling. The Transit is a large vehicle, with poor rear visibility, it moves around almost silently, and the charge port is at the front of the van – so you have no choice but to drive forwards into a space to charge, and then reverse out. Small city cars have reversing cameras, so why doesn’t a large van have this feature? In our view it should be a legal requirement.

Ford E-TransitFord E-Transit

Ford E-Transit Electric Range and Charging

The Ford E-Transit has a WLTP electric driving range of 166-196 miles. The 196-mile figure is the WLTP Overall Range which reflects a combined driving cycle, and the 166-mile WLTP Extra High range reflects motorway driving.

During our week with the Ford E-Transit it was tested locally, both empty and half-loaded, and it was also tested on a 200-mile return motorway trip, both empty and half-loaded. The real-world range average, in December, was 125 miles. We found that the range at motorway speeds of 60mph was no worse than the range around town, and that the range prediction on the motorway was reasonably accurate.

The Ford E-Transit can rapid charge at rates of up to 115 kW, which can translate to a 15% to 80% charge in 34 minutes. Although we’re now seeing good progress with EVs and public charging, one issue is that most public charging bays are designed to accommodate cars, but most aren’t large enough to comfortably fit vans.

Using the 11.3kW onboard charger to charge from a three-phase (commercial) electricity supply, a 100% charge should take 8.2 hours.

Thanks to ‘Pro Power Onboard’, the E-Transit can also be used to power tools or other electrical equipment, removing the need to carry a standalone generator.

How to charge an electric car

Ford E-TransitFord E-Transit

Price And Model Range

The Ford E-Transit van is available from £51,235 excluding VAT. Our test vehicle, a Ford E-Transit Trend 350 L3 H2 model, cost £52,640 excluding VAT. Our test vehicle had options of ‘Exclusive body colour – grey matter’ (£650), and a domestic 3 pin capable charging cable (£100), taking the total price to £53,390 excluding VAT.

There’s a government grant of up to £5,000 available for large electric vans. To be eligible for a grant, the vehicle must be between 2,500kg and 4,250kg gross vehicle weight, have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km, and be able to travel at least 60 miles without any emissions.

The Ford E-Transit has five body style configurations and 25 model variants, with cargo volumes ranging from 9.5m3 to 15.1m3, and a maximum gross payload of 1,758kg for the van, and 2,090kg for the chassis cab.

The E-Transit van is available in three lengths, L2, L3 and L4, and two heights, H2 and H3, and with 3.5, 3.9 or 4.25 tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM).

The E-Transit van with double cab is available in one length, L3, and two heights, H2 and H3, and with 3.9 or 4.25 tonne GVM.

The E-Transit with cab and chassis is available in two lengths, L3 and L4, and with 3.5, 3.9 or 4.25 tonne GVM.

(L2 = Medium Wheelbase, L3 = Long wheelbase, L4 = Long wheelbase extended length; H2 = Medium roof, H3 = High roof).

The E-Transit has a useful towing capacity of 2,000 kg.

Ford E-TransitFord E-Transit

Conclusion

The Ford E-Transit is better to drive than the diesel model, and it offers zero tailpipe emissions. It should have lower running costs than a diesel van in terms of fuel, but when you also factor in savings on charges for the increasing number of low emission zones around the UK, savings for electric vans for some operators could be significant. The obvious flip side to this is that, at £51,235 excluding VAT, the E-Transit is more expensive than the equivalent diesel model (£44,270 excluding VAT), but for many people the £7,000 or so differential should be offset by the running cost savings of the E-Transit.

The official 166-196 miles electric driving range of the E-Transit is good, although our real-world (winter) range of 125 miles is likely to be more accurate. The main issue is that we would like to see a reversing camera fitted as standard. Overall the Ford E-Transit, as a large van, is a welcome addition to the variety of electric vehicles on sale and it’s awarded a Green Car Guide rating of 8 out of 10.

Car facts and figures Ford E-Transit Review

  • Test electric driving range: 125 miles
  • Consumption (WLTP): TBC miles/kWh
  • CO2 emissions (WLTP): 0 g/km
  • Vehicle tax rate (VED):   £0
  • Benefit in Kind (BIK) company car tax liability (2022/23): 2%
  • Price:   £52,640 excluding VAT
  • Insurance group:   TBC
  • Power:   184 PS
  • Torque:   430 Nm
  • Max speed:   85 mph
  • 0-62 mph:   TBC seconds
  • Weight:   3,500 kg, 3,900 kg or 4,250 kg,
  • Towing capacity: 2,000 kg
Paul Clarke

Review by:
Paul Clarke, GreenCarGuide Editor