Ford is set to add a plug-in hybrid powertrain to its Transit line-up. As the company continues to push for emissions reduction, the new Transit unit represents the first PHEV van in this market segment.
The OEM will now begin a 12-month fleet trial with Transport for London (TfL) and key-city based businesses, which will explore how the telematics and geofencing technology can maximize clean air benefits.
Penciled-in for volume production in 2019, the PHEV Transit has an advanced hybrid system that targets a zero-emission range in excess of 50km, thanks to a compact liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery located under the load floor, and features the EcoBoost 1.0-liter petrol engine as a range extender.
The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while the EcoBoost unit generates additional charge for the batteries when required. The Transit Custom PHEV uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, with the vehicle’s wheels driven exclusively by an electric motor rather than by the combustion engine.
In the same month that Ford re-started the scrappage scheme, the unveiling of the Transit PHEV highlights the OEM’s commitment to providing cleaner vehicles. Mark Harvey, director at Ford Europe, reiterated this vision: “For more than 50 years, businesses have relied on Ford Transit to get the job done, and we are determined to maintain that tradition as we move into the electric age.
“Seeing the PHEV Transits on the road is an exciting milestone, and we look forward to teaming up with our London partners and customers to explore how these vans can reduce emissions and operator costs in the city.”