Europe’s F-Series – All-Electric Ford E-Transit Revealed

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Ford E-Transit

E-Transit reduces  cost of ownership by approximately 40% compared with internal combustion engine-equipped models because of lower maintenance expenses, Ford claims.

Ford today showed the new E-Transit van in the UK. It claims E-Transit will offer customers enhanced productivity enabled by its fully electric powertrain, software solutions, services and Pro Power Onboard options. The vehicle will eventually be produced for North American customers at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. It will likely be priced starting at about $45,000.

E-Transit, which starts arriving with European customers in early 2022, is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion global investment in electrification through 2022. The all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E will be in European dealerships from early next year and the fully electric F‑150 appears at North American dealers in mid-2022.

The new E-Transit is backed by more than 1,800 global Commercial Vehicle dealers – including 1000 European Transit Centres – for sales and service. E-Transit has “collaborations with hundreds of converters and vehicle modifiers worldwide, who provide compatible racks, bins and accessories on diesel-powered Transits.” Ford’s commercial vehicle lineup is expanding to include electric vehicle monitoring software and connected solutions for fleets to integrate into daily operations.

“Ford is North America and Europe’s commercial vehicle leader, so the transition of fleet vehicles to zero emissions, especially for the fast-growing last-mile delivery segment, is critical to achieve our carbon neutral goal by 2050,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s new president and CEO. “Ford is ready to lead the charge that started with its award-winning Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid and EcoBlue Hybrid. It’s good for the planet and a huge advantage for customers with lower operating costs and new connected technologies that will help their businesses,” Farley said not without abundant self-interest.

Ford has been making Transit family vehicles for 55 years and commercial vehicles since 1905. The company will build E‑Transits for European customers at the Ford Otosan Kocaeli plant in Turkey on a dedicated line alongside the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid.

As demand for delivery vehicles grows, cities around the world – from London to Los Angeles – are pledging to create emission-free zones, reduce greenhouse gas levels and lower noise pollution. “More construction, emergency vehicles and utility services choose Ford commercial trucks and vans over any other manufacturer – and we’re committed to helping customers make the transition to zero-emission technology,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform operations officer. “E-Transit is a data rich, connected platform that will help our fleet customers unlock greater productivity. The value for our commercial customers grows over time as more connected vehicles join the network.”

In Europe, Ford has been piloting electrified commercial vehicle technology since 2018, working with officials in England, Germany, Spain and Turkey to study how drivers used Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vehicles in London, Cologne, Valencia and Ankara. The company says it has applied those learnings – including on users’ vehicle use and charging habits – in developing E-Transit and its services.

With a usable battery capacity of 67kWh, E-Transit offers an estimated driving range of up to 217 miles on the combined WLTP cycle, 1 providing enough range to meet daily requirements, but with sufficient additional capacity to account for variations in vehicle load and weather conditions. This in theory makes E-Transit and numerous competitors ideal for urban environments, fixed drive routes and deliveries within so-called geofenced zero-emission driving zones, without requiring fleet owners to pay for excess battery capacity they don’t need.

E-Transit’s drive modes are tailored to its electric powertrain. A special Eco Mode aims to provide up to an 8-10 % improvement in energy usage if E-Transit is driven unladen with spirited acceleration or at highway speeds, according to Ford data. Eco Mode limits top speed, regulates acceleration and optimizes climate control to help maximize the available driving range. The vehicle also supports Scheduled Pre-Conditioning, enabling the climate control system to be programmed to adjust the cabin to the preferred temperature while the vehicle is still on charge, ensuring that the maximum driving range is available.

E-Transit helps companies operate more sustainably, and it claims to offer clear business advantages. E-Transit can reduce service cost of ownership by approximately 40% compared with internal combustion engine-equipped models, because of lower maintenance expenses. 2

In Europe, customers will have a best-in-class, one-year, unlimited mileage service offering that sits alongside the eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty package for the battery and high-voltage electric components. 3 Ford will also offer a variety of charging systems to fit fleet and driver needs, whether at home, at a place of business or on the road.

E-Transit has both AC charging and DC fast-charging. The vehicle’s 11.3kW on-board charger can deliver a 100% charge in up to, yawn, 8.2 hours. 4 Charging with up to 115kW using a high-power DC fast-charger, E-Transit can top-up the battery from 15%to 80 % in ~34 minutes. 4

The optional Pro Power Onboard allows customers to transform the vehicle into a mobile power source, providing up to 2.3kW for powering tools and equipment on the jobsite and on the go. This is an industry first for light commercial vehicles in Europe.

The standard FordPass Connect modem 5 delivers seamless connectivity to help commercial vehicle customers manage and optimize fleet efficiency, with a range of dedicated electric vehicle services available through the Ford Telematics fleet solution.

E-Transit also brings SYNC 4 communications and entertainment technology 6 to commercial vehicles, with a standard 12-inch touchscreen, plus enhanced voice recognition and optional cloud-enhanced navigation. With SYNC over-the-air updates, E‑Transit’s software and SYNC technology will benefit from the latest new features and quality enhancements.

On the road with navigation enabled, fleet operators can use driver assistance technologies including Traffic Sign Recognition 7 and Intelligent Speed Assist, 7 which together identify speed restrictions and allow fleet managers to set vehicle speed limits.

E-Transit has an array of optional technologies designed to help fleet customers reduce driver-based insurance claims. These include Pre-Collision Assist, 7 Blind Spot Information System 7 with Lane Change Warning & Aid 7 and a 360-degree camera with Reverse Brake Assist. 7 Along with Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, 7 these can help maintain fleet safety standards and reduce the risk of accidents.

Ford engineers redesigned E-Transit’s driveline and rear suspension system to optimize cargo space, creating a heavy-duty semi-trailing arm suspension system that enables better steering precision and more confident handling, plus better traction in both laden and unladen conditions.  E-Transit’s battery is located underneath the body, providing up to 15.1 cubic meters of cargo space, 8 the same as a rear-wheel drive diesel Transit.

E-Transit for customers in Europe targets up to 1,616kg payload for the van and up to 1,967kg for the chassis cab models. 8 The vehicle’s electric motor has a peak output of 198 kW (269 PS) and 430Nm of torque, making it the most powerful motor of any fully electric cargo van sold in Europe. The rear-wheel drive layout ensures outstanding traction when the vehicle is heavily laden.

In Europe, Ford will offer a choice of 25 E-Transit configurations, with van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab body styles, multiple length and roof-height options, and a range of gross vehicle mass options up to 4.25 tonnes, to support a wide variety of customer needs. Following the successful city partnerships featuring the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, Ford will be undertaking extensive customer fleet trials with E-Transit in key European markets, starting during 2021.

Lawyer Footnotes

 1 Officially homologated energy efficiency figures will be published closer to on-sale date. Targeted range and charge time based on manufacturer tested values and calculation according to the WLTP drive cycle. Actual range varies with conditions such as external elements, driving behaviors, vehicle maintenance, lithium-ion battery age and state of health.

The declared fuel/energy consumptions, CO2-emissions and electric range are determined according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EU) 2017/1151 as last amended. Light Duty Vehicle type-approved using the World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) will have fuel/energy consumption and CO2-emission information for New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) and WLTP. WLTP will fully replace the NEDC latest by the end of the year 2020. The applied standard test procedures enable comparison between different vehicle types and different manufacturers. During NEDC phase-out, WLTP fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are being correlated back to NEDC. There will be some variance to the previous fuel economy and emissions as some elements of the tests have altered, so the same car might have different fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

2 Based on a 3-year or 180,000 km period. Comparing scheduled and non-scheduled maintenance items for a battery electric vs. a similar diesel-powered van

3 See your dealer for limited-warranty details.

4 The charging rate decreases as battery reaches full capacity. Your results may vary based on peak charging times and battery state of charge.

5 Features may require activation and subscription fees.

6 Don’t drive while distracted or while using handheld devices. Use voice-operated systems when possible.  Some features may be locked out while the vehicle is in gear.  Not all features are compatible with all phones.

7 Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment and need to control the vehicle. Not all features are available on chassis cab variants.

8 Cargo and load capacity limited by weight and weight distribution.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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