Ford's trusty Transit van is getting an all-electric makeover, with the automaker revealing plans for a zero-emissions model at an event in Amsterdam today. The upcoming Transit was announced alongside other upcoming electrified vans from Ford, all hoped to help clear the smog in busy urban centers.
Due to enter production in 2021, details are scarce on the electric Ford Transit for now, but the company says the van will be built to address the "needs of urban operators for a practical and versatile load-carrier with zero-emission driving capability." We also know it will be available in a variety of body styles and the electric powertrain will be built to cover the kind of daily range required by business in city centers.
For those looking to to have a little each way, Ford also provided an update on the plug-in hybrid version of the Transit, first announced back in 2017. Powered by a 13.6-kWh battery pack and its 1.0-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine, the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid will cover up to 50 km (31 mi) in electric-only mode or 500 km (310 mi) by combining the two. Ford says it will go on sale in Europe in late 2019.
Ford also introduced its new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid on Tuesday, an eight-person people mover with rearrangeable seating rows so passengers can either face each other or the road ahead. This, too, is promised to have 50 km of electric-only range, and will be available to European customers in 2019.
Another interesting tidbit from the event is a new initiative intended to help commercial customers avoid vehicle downtime through a more dynamic approach to maintenance. Rather than servicing at regular intervals, sensors will collect real-time data and allow problems to be tended to before they bring the vehicle to a stop.
Through this app-based management approach, Ford says the aim is to deliver 100 percent uptime for these vehicles and the first stages of the service will launch later in the year.
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