I travelled to Barcelona last Monday morning curious about what Ford was up to with the commercial side of their business.
Going through security at Dublin Airport’s Terminal 2 at 4am did have me question my sanity, but I had been promised that what I would see and drive would be electric, the new E-Transit. More than that, the Ford PR machine had more than hinted at a new way of doing business for van and light commercial owners. More about that later.
The Transit is iconic and while others challenge at the top table year-on-year, it remains the work-horse that many van owners globally benchmark the other against.
We are now well into the electric powered car era and commercial vehicles have started to catch-up. The new E-Transit would have to continue to deliver as it has to hold and grow market share.
Ford told us that it is designed to satisfy a wide range of customer use-cases, and with a 68 kWh usable battery capacity as standard, providing a promised competitive range of up to 317 km. Ford says that you can DC fast recharge the E-Transit from 15 per cent to 80 per cent in 34 minutes.
How about this for a boast? “With its class-leading battery size, range, motor power, the all-electric version of the world’s best-selling cargo van offers unmatched performance for commercial customers.” Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
It needs to be, because going electric isn’t cheap up-front – the savings come later! The new E-Transit electric van, entry-level Trend version is priced from €59,264 including VAT, on-the-road. Ford says that the E-Transit is also extremely competitively priced in the marketplace, to help accelerate adoption of electric vehicles.
Ford does say that the new all-electric Transit provides every customer with a comprehensive standard specification and advanced technologies to make electrifying their fleets easier and more beneficial than ever before.
True Transit capability is delivered by the powerful motor offering 430 Nm of torque and a choice of 135 kW or 198 kW maximum outputs. The maximum gross payload is up to 1,758 kg on the van model and max cubic capacity is 15.1 cu.m, and the comprehensive range totals 25 variants of van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab body styles with multiple lengths and roof heights, as well as GVMs from 3.5 to 4.25 tonnes.
The E-Transit also features Ford’s unique ProPower Onboard feature, delivering up to 2.3 Kw in the cab and load area to power conversions and equipment while out at work.
The E-Transit is offered in two series – ‘Base’ and ‘Trend’ – and all vehicles offer significantly higher specifications than the equivalent diesel model. The Base series includes Electronic Air Temperature Control, Keyless Start, heated seats, Quickclear windscreen and heated power mirrors.
This capability is complemented by an enhanced level of standard equipment featuring Euro NCAP-commended intelligent driver assistance and safety systems, as well as end-to-end charging support from Ford Pro Charging and an entire integrated suite of Ford Pro solutions to optimise efficiency and cost of ownership.
Ford Pro – offering a progressive new way
Ford Pro Vehicles is introducing for businesses a new benchmark for electric vehicle productivity, value and ownership experience with the new all‑electric E‑Transit. I will write in more detail about this comprehensive offering that combined is forecasting 10 to 20 per cent savings in more efficient operating of Ford’s new vans.
In a nutshell, it promises end-to-end Ford Pro solutions include software, charging, service and financing to help customers optimise E-Transit’s productivity and performance
The new E-Transit spearheads the European introduction of Ford Pro, as well as the manufacturer’s new worldwide sales and servicing business centred around improving commercial vehicle customers’ productivity with world-class vehicles and cutting-edge products and services.
“E-Transit is a quantum leap for commercial vehicle operators. Its all-electric powertrain, uncompromised capability and integrated supporting Ford Pro ecosystem will streamline customers’ businesses and supercharge their productivity as they switch to fully-electric fleets,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe. “With pricing designed to remove any barrier to entry, E‑Transit is a truly compelling proposition for European businesses.”
Following a punishing global testing and development programme, Ford Pro and its customer partners across Europe are using 60 E-Transits to demonstrate the productivity benefits of electrified commercial vehicles. The first production vehicles recently rolled out of the factory in Kocaeli, Turkey, with 5,000 customer orders received before production started.
Four further Ford Pro new electric van models are on the way. The first of these, the all‑new Transit Custom one-tonne van, the Tourneo Custom multi-purpose vehicle will go on sale next year, and the smaller, next-generation Transit Courier van, plus Tourneo Courier multi-purpose vehicle are promised for the year after (2024).
For now, the E-Transit delivers; outstanding drivability, a very good package and the joined up thinking of one-stop solutions is indeed ambitious, but achievable. It could well be the new benchmark in van/LCV purchase and lifetime operations.