Ford is bringing out an electric version of the Transit, with production of the completely battery-powered van to start in 2021. Ford hasn't released any details on power, range or charging times yet, but has indicated that it will be aimed at urban delivery firms, and that multiple body styles will be available.
Ford has said it plans to have 16 fully electric vehicles and 24 partly electric vehicles on sale by 2022, and that from now on there will be an electric version of every new or new generation vehicle.
Hybrid versions of the Transit, Transit Custom, Tourneo Custom, Kuga, Mondeo, Explorer, Fiesta and Focus are all planned, along with an all-electric performance SUV, due next year, which Ford says will have a range of 370 miles. The company is also developing its own home chargers.
The eight-seat hybrid Tourneo Custom will go on sale in Europe later this year and will combine electric power with a 1.0-litre petrol engine, giving it an electric range of 31 miles.
The hybrid Transit Custom, which will also have a 31-mile electric range and a 1.0-litre petrol engine, will have a payload capacity of 1,000kg or 6 cubic metres, and a 124bhp engine delivering 272lb ft of torque.
Ford's chief program engineer, Ian Porter, told www.buyacar.co.uk: "The demands of a commercial vehicle mean that current pure electric options can't meet customer expectations of range, performance and payload. But the beauty of a hybrid system is that users can reap the benefits of all-electric motoring, such as when entering low-emissions zones, but can also fall back on a 500km range.”
Drivers will be able to specify geographical areas where the van automatically switches to electric power.
The Transit's rivals will include the Mercedes eSprinter, the Nissan eNV200, the Renault Master ZE and the Volkswagen eCrafter.
Until now, most electric vans have been smaller models, but that is set to change. Citroen, Ford, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot and Volkswagen are all developing new electric vans.
Ford is carrying out tests on a prototype Ford Transit electric van configured as a ten-seater minibus, which has a range of 93 miles and takes four hours to charge.
The van has a variety of energy-saving measures, including a heat pump that reuses heat from the engine and takes in heat from the outside and the cabin; an electric sliding door that opens halfway to reduce heat loss; heating and air-conditioning which automatically switch off when the door is open; six solar panels on the roof that charge a 12-volt battery for seat heating, cabin lighting and mobile chargers; and double-glazed windows. Ford expects to start testing it on the road this year.
If you'd like to test drive one of the used Ford vans on sale at used van dealers Vanwise Group, have a look at our website to see what we can offer you. We have a wide selection of used Ford Transit models, including used Ford Transit tipper dropsides, used Ford Transit Customs, used Ford Transit Connects and used Custom Tourneos.