Ford is going electric in one of the most important but unnoticed segments of the marketplace, the full-size van. The automaker says it makes communities run, is used by just about every part of the economy, and is being electrified in the form of the Ford E-Transit electric van, set to arrive late next year.
While saying the figures are still just targets and estimates, the E-Transit should deliver 266 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, plenty for this commercial van. With 67 kWh of usable energy in the battery pack, Ford is targeting a range of 200 km on a charge (for the smaller models). The battery will be able to go from 15 to 80 per cent charge in just 34 minutes with DC fast charging, and Ford's Pro Power onboard will offer users up to 2.4 kW of household power. It also adds EV features like "Smart Acceleration Truncation" which can limit torque when empty so that acceleration full and empty are the same, which Ford says adds to vehicle range.
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The E-Transit will be offered in regular, long, and extended lengths, with low, medium, and high-roof models, with a target max payload of 1,727 kg, as well as cutaway versions with even more payload capacity. The battery will be mounted under the floor and doesn't cut into cargo capacity, while the motor will drive the rear wheels.
Ford is equipping the van with Sync 4 to allow embedded telematics. Tracking and sending usage info including fleet monitoring, power usage, location, charging speeds and states and more, while also allowing improved hands-free use and a 12.0-inch standard touchscreen. The E-Transit will offer Ford's advanced driver assistance features including adaptive cruise, speed sign recognition, and Co-Pilot 360 features including lane-keeping and automatic emergency braking will be standard.
Most Transit vans get upfitting to add user-specific functions, features, and equipment, and Ford says that will continue with the E-Transit. Ford says benefits to commercial users of the van include reduced fuel costs as well as less downtime for maintenance, both crucial for business fleets. It also points out that there are 95 Ford commercial vehicle centres in Canada, so sales and service are easy to find when they are needed. Though the body is the same as the gas model, the centre console has been revised to give the driver and front passenger more legroom and greater convenience.
The Ford E-Transit is set to go on sale next year, starting from under $58,000 and the EV components get an eight-year, 160,000 km warranty.