Will the Ford E-Transit Custom mark the dawn of a new era in alternative fuels in Europe?

Will the Ford E-Transit Custom mark the dawn of a new era in alternative fuels in Europe?

Photo: Ford

The all-electric version of Europe’s best-selling van is now available in Europe. The one-ton E-Transit Custom combines state-of-the-art electric technology with Ford Pro’s suite of telematics software. Purported to help businesses reduce cost-of-ownership, work more effectively, and help transition the commercial van segment into a future of electrified vehicles, the E-Transit Custom may be one of the first bellwethers of the next generation of alternative-fuel vehicles for business owners, employees, and fleets.

Ford hopes that its wireless updates through Ford Power-up software means the E-Transit Custom will be readymade for the current and future business owners who can rely on cloud connectivity and digital connections.

“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.”

Ford expects its next-gen battery technology to power a range of 236 miles and 125-kW fast charging ability. To maximize productivity during the working day, the E-Transit Custom offers new digital solutions for multi-drop deliveries, and cab and load compartment access. The cab is also a business hub, with 5G connectivity and a flexible workspace with many smart features.

The E-Transit Custom delivers payloads up to 1,100 kg with a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 kg atop independent rear suspension and class-leading motor power.

“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, 5 and E-Transit Custom will give them a much-needed productivity boost as they transition to EVs.”

Ford Pro has also introduced the all-electric E-Transit, which has now sold more than 8,300 units. The E-Transit Custom is one of four new Ford Pro electric commercial vehicles arriving in Europe by 2024. Built by Ford Otosan in Kocaeli, Turkey, production is due to begin in autumn 2023.

“Transit Custom is a hard act to follow – Europe’s top-selling van and last year’s best-selling vehicle overall in the UK – but the all-new E‑Transit Custom is a huge leap forward for our customers,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe. “E‑Transit Custom’s ground-up new design, unmatched connected ecosystem and innovative customer experiences will redefine productivity for our customers in the electric, connected era.”

Customers can choose from 100-kW or 160-kW motor power outputs to suit their needs, each offering a class-leading 415Nm of torque. The electric drivetrain provides a class-leading towing capacity of up to 2,000 kg, and Ford hopes that the E-Transit Custom could replace diesel vehicles in applications that no other all-electric van can match.

New owners can access Ford Pro E-Telematics, which employs live data to help operators monitor the location, efficiency, and health of their vehicles for maximum productivity. The software also supports charging strategies with EV-specific insights such as charging status, state of charge, and remaining range with customizable Low Range alert thresholds. Owners can also program the E-Transit Custom’s battery and cab to be warmed or cooled before work with Scheduled Pre‑Conditioning to conserve energy for optimum range.

The E-Transit Custom’s 11-kW AC three-phase onboard charger can recharge the battery in 7.8 hours for swift and reliable overnight charging. The E-Transit Custom also supports DC fast charging up to 125 kW for a 15-80% recharge in 41 minutes. A new charge profile front-loads the energy to enable quick, useful top-ups; during technical tests, the system delivered almost 24 miles of range in 5 minutes using a 125-kW charger. Ford Pro customers can also access the Blue Oval Charging Network – Europe’s largest, with over 300,000 chargers and growing – and every E‑Transit Custom is sold with a 12-month complimentary subscription to access public charging via the Blue Oval Charging Network.