Customer trials of Ford’s all-electric Transit have started across Europe with a selection of fleet operators, ahead of the volume sales launch next spring.
The trial kicks off with ten E-Transit prototypes being put to the test across a variety of operating scenarios in the postal, municipal and utilities, last mile and grocery delivery sectors within Germany, Norway and the UK. Among the trial partners are AWB waste disposal, Balfour Beatty, the City of Cologne municipal fleet, DHL Express in the UK, DPD, Norwegian Post, Ocado and Recover Nordic.
The trials fleet features a full range of E-Transit variants including van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab derivatives with gross vehicle masses from 3.5 to 4.25 tonnes, and a variety of conversions.
“We want to demonstrate that helping customers reduce their environmental impact can go hand-in-hand with improving their productivity,” said Dave Petts, market lead, urban electrified vans, Ford of Europe.
“Real-world mileage in customer hands helps us to show the business benefits that E-Transit can deliver, as well as providing valuable feedback on usage patterns and charging behaviour so that we can refine the operating experience.”
The trials mark the latest phase in Ford’s development of the new E-Transit, following a testing programme at Ford proving grounds and engineering facilities. Trials partners will operate the E-Transit prototypes over six- or 12-month periods.
A range of specialised conversions
E-Transit has been engineered to allow conversion using the same fixtures and fittings developed for existing Transit models. A selection of the trial vehicles have been converted to help demonstrate the versatility of the E-Transit platform, including:
• Refrigerated box body for grocery delivery, powered by 2.3kW ProPower Onboard system
• Dropside body for construction with light beacons and weight sensors
• Caged tipper for refuse removal
• Last-mile delivery box body with walkthrough bulkhead and rear air suspension
• Last-mile delivery van with internal racking, walkthrough bulkhead and front jump seat