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All-new E-Transit Custom, image courtesy of Ford of Europe GmbH

Clean Transport

Ford’s New Electric Van Promises To Revolutionize Commercial EVs in Europe

At present, Ford’s E-Transit offered in the United States comes with a limited range of only 126 miles. That’s actually enough for most businesses to use, according to Ford’s data, as local delivery and service vehicles don’t usually drive very much. But, Ford seems to know that there are many customers who wanted more range and wanted other features that would help their businesses.

Ford’s global research, engineering, and software departments collaborated to create the E-Transit Custom with small to medium businesses in mind. The car is based on cloud connectivity and Ford Power-Up software updates that can change during the vehicle’s lifetime; all of which were designed to save businesses money spent managing equipment upkeep and transition costs associated with electric cars.

“Ford Pro and the E-Transit Custom are redefining what a commercial vehicle can do – powering working people and businesses into a new digital age,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Our customers made Transit Custom the most popular commercial vehicle in Europe, and we’ve listened to those customers for well over 50 years. The new E-Transit Custom was designed and engineered to meet their needs – a Transit for the new era, but one that can still get its hands dirty when a job needs doing.”

The new battery technology allows for a focused range of 380 kilometers and 125 kilowatts of fast charging. E-Transit Custom will sustain exceptional performance in a variety of customer situations — all handled by Ford Pro’s end-to-end solutions to manage and optimize charging. E-Transit Custom offers new digital solutions for multi-drop deliveries, as well as cab and load compartment access, to increase productivity during the day. The cab is also a business center with 5G connectivity and a configurable workspace that includes smart features such as an adjustable steering wheel that converts to an ergonomic holder for laptops and tablets.

This idea of the vehicle manufacturer helping optimize deliveries seems to be a way for Ford to compete with GM’s Brightdrop, but we’ll have to wait and see what solutions it is specifically offering to get a good idea what that competitive field looks like.

E-Transit Custom provides outstanding payloads of up to 1,100 kg along with no-compromise load carrying and capability. A lower load floor combined with easier access makes this vehicle perfect for those who need maximum towing capacity of 2,000 kg. Independent rear suspension and class-leading motor power help deliver a new level experience that customers will love.

“Powered by the Ford Pro digital ecosystem, E-Transit Custom offers a genuinely revolutionary proposition to European van customers,” said Ted Cannis, CEO, Ford Pro. “These vital businesses contribute €786 billion to Europe’s economy,  and E-Transit Custom will give them a much-needed productivity boost as they transition to EVs.”

The 400-volt, 74 kWh usable battery pack in the E-Transit Custom uses advanced 82 Ah pouch cells also found in the Ford F-150 Lightning. This makes for a 12% more energy dense battery than what was previously being used. With this new and improved technology, the targeted range is now up to 380 km on a single charge — this is over four times the average one-tonne van driver’s daily mileage, according to Ford Pro customer data. Additionally, because of its direct‑to‑body mounting, the durability has increased while simultaneously reducing weight; two factors which work together optimally to give an even longer range.

“Our customers can choose from 100 kW or 160 kW (135 PS or 217 PS) motor power outputs, each of which offers 415 Nm of torque. The drive motor is fitted directly to the vehicle’s rear floor, removing the need for a dedicated subframe. By rotating it 90 degrees, we maximise loadspace and reduce weight and complexity. The electric drivetrain is so powerful that it can tow up to 2,000 kg. This means that the E-Transit Custom could replace diesel vehicles in roles where no other all-electric van would be able to match its performance. For even more convenience, an optional retractable towbar can be fitted.”

Ford Pro E-Telematics 6 is complimentary for one year with ownership of an E-Transit Custom, and offers live data monitoring of the vehicle’s location, efficiency, and health to help make the most productive use of it. The software also supports optimized charging strategies with EV-specific insights such as charging status, state of charge, and remaining range, as well as customizable Low Range alert thresholds. In addition to its other great features, E-Transit Custom’s battery and cab can be programmed to be warmed or cooled before work with Scheduled Pre‑Conditioning, which conserves energy for optimum range.

E-Transit Custom offers a mechanical braking system with one-pedal drive capability that is energy efficient. The system uses friction brakes and regenerative braking to harvest energy during deceleration, allowing the battery to be topped up for greater driving range. When in one-pedal drive mode, drivers may stop the van without using the brake pedal, “which drivers of the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E appreciated and made city driving more relaxing and pleasant.” Other available speed modes deliver less deceleration to match other driving conditions. The friction brakes are used frequently enough to avoid the discs from rusting or pitting.

E-Transit Custom’s 11 kW AC 3-phase onboard charger can fully recharge the battery in around 8 hours, so customers will be able to recharge overnight after a shift. They can also use the FordPass Pro smartphone app to track current charge state when they’re on the go during busy days.

When you need a quicker charge, E-Transit Custom also supports DC fast charging up to 125 kW for a 15-80% recharge in 41 minutes. The system in lab testing generated almost 38 kilometers of range in only 5 minutes while using a 125 kW charger, thanks to a new charge profile that front-loads the energy. Every E-Transit Custom is sold with a 12-month complimentary subscription to use public charging via the Blue Oval Charging Network, which is Europe’s largest and growing network of over 300,000 chargers

In an all-new plant on the company’s Yeniköy site that will be constructed as part of a previously announced €2 billion facilities investment, Ford Otosan will build all Transit Custom variants. The plant has state-of-the-art manufacturing and battery assembly facilities that help to position Ford Otosan as a center of excellence for commercial vehicle manufacturing and home of European Transit production. The new location, along with important investments in solar power and energy efficiency, supports Ford Otosan’s goal of carbon neutrality across all facilities in Turkey by 2030.

 
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Written By

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to explore the Southwest US with her partner, kids, and animals. Follow her on Twitter for her latest articles and other random things: https://twitter.com/JenniferSensiba

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