Ford has announced a new wide-ranging commercial vehicle strategy that will include new electrified vehicles, innovative connectivity and more support for van users.
The programme, revealed at a ‘Go Further’ event in Amsterdam, is set to see the launch of a new all-electric Ford Transit van in 2021, while a Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-mover with an anticipated 31 mile all-electric range will be introduced later this year.
Other plans include a new usage-based maintenance initiative targeting 100 per cent uptime for CV customers, and the launch of an app called FordPass Pro to offer support to smaller businesses using Ford vehicles. This will work with FordPass Connect modems installed in LCVs.
Ford will also expand its specialist vehicle conversion programme and its Transit Centre network to minimise the time customers have to do without their vehicles.
A working prototype of the all-electric Transit was unveiled at the Go-Further event. The production version will be available in multiple body styles, and Ford says it will offer a competitive payload and built-in connectivity, delivering full Transit capability and durability.
Long range in all weathers
Engineering development of the electric powertrain is focused on providing a practical daily driving range for city-based businesses, and Ford adds that the Transit will maintain this range in all weather conditions and throughout the working life of the vehicle.
The Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van is expected to make Ford the first volume manufacturer to offer plug-in hybrid technology in the one-tonne van segment when it goes on sale in late 2019.
The van’s front wheels are driven by an electric motor/generator, powered by a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, while a 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine acts as a range extender, replenishing the battery when needed. Ford is targeting a zero-emission driving range of up to 31 miles, and 310 miles using the range extender.
A trial programme of the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid is currently underway in London, with further trials soon to begin in Valencia, Spain, and Cologne, Germany.