Europe set for customer trials of prototype E-Transit

Commercial fleet operators look set for an electric alternative to diesel vehicles following trials of Ford’s E-Transit later in the year. 

Ford has announced that its prototype E-Transit vehicles will be joining customer fleets to operate in real-world conditions with businesses in the supermarket, home delivery, postal services and utilities sectors across the UK, Germany, and Norway. 

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“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,” said Andrew Mottram, E-Transit chief programme engineer, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. 

Ford’s European customer trials form part of E-Transit’s development programme ahead of launch in spring 2022. Beginning late summer this year, they have been designed to confirm that the all-electric van can meet the demands of different operating scenarios. 

Ford engineers will use data from the trials to help refine E‑Transit’s connected vehicle technology and range management features. 

E-Transit
Trials of the prototype E-Transit are set for late summer (Image: Ford Motor Company)

The prototype vehicles, which are being assembled at Ford’s commercial vehicle centre of excellence in Dunton, UK, will include E-Transit van and chassis cab variants with conversions that include refrigerated bodies, box vans, dropsides and interior racking. Anticipated payload is up to 1,616kg for vans and up to 1,967kg for chassis cab models. 

E-Transit’s all-electric powertrain is claimed to deliver up to 200kW of power for a targeted WLTP range of up to 217 miles. According to Ford, this is supported by range-boosting technologies including so-called Eco Mode and Scheduled Pre-Conditioning. The company further states that operators will benefit also from new SYNC 4 technology including a 12-inch screen and cloud-connected navigation enhanced through automatic wireless software updates. 

Lower maintenance expenses are expected to reduce the cost of ownership by 40 per cent compared with internal combustion engine-equipped models.