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Ford extends plug-in Transit trial


Ford has extended its trial of its new Plug-in Hybrid Transit Custom model to a second European city, following the concept’s launch last year in London.

The city of Valencia in eastern Spain will be the next destination for the plug-in delivery vans, thanks to a collaboration between Ford Smart Mobility, the regional government of Valencia and the Valencia City leadership.

“At Ford, we are committed to tackling urban mobility challenges, moving people and delivering goods and services through innovation and technology,” said Steven Armstrong, president and CEO, Ford of Europe, Middle East & Africa. “As no two cities are alike, it is vital that we look at the mobility issue from a variety of perspectives. Our research in Valencia will help us gain a meaningful understanding of the benefits that small and medium fleets running primarily on electric power can bring.”

Ford’s partnerships with the Generalitat Valenciana complements its testing in London as part of a US $11 billion investment that the company is making into electrification, with plans to introduce 40 electrified vehicles globally, including 16 full battery electric vehicles, by 2022.

The focus in the Spanish city will be on the use of small and medium fleets of Transit Custom PHEVs that are driven solely by an electric motor with a zero-emission target range of more than 50 kilometres (31 miles). Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine serves as a range extender, eliminating range anxiety by charging the on-board batteries when longer trips are required.

Scheduled for a mainstream launch in 2019, the Transit PHEV project aims to prove the efficiency of such technology in urban delivery environments ahead of the van’s official production debut.

A total of 20 Transit Custom PHEV vans are currently undergoing a 12-month trial in London, working with Transport for London and a variety of fleet customers, ranging from the Metropolitan Police to courier services and construction firms.