It will arrive at the end of 2021, following the launch of the Mustang Mach-E, and before an all-electric version of the F-150 pickup. It will be built at the Ford plant in Kansas City, Missouri, with the battery supplied by LG Chem, which also manufactures the Mach-E unit.
Of course, the E-Transit alone won’t push everyday drivers into plug-in cars. But if electric work vehicles save businesses enough money and buy enough because of it, the volumes could lower the price of components, as well as improvements in charging infrastructure that would benefit all electric vehicle (EV) drivers.
The E-Transit doesn’t come cheap – starting at around $ 58,000, which is about $ 18,000 more than the gas-powered Transit. Under the current rules, it is expensive enough for him to be eligible for only one “green” government rebate, a check for $ 8,000 in Quebec. As consumers do, fleet managers will need to calculate their fuel savings for electricity versus gasoline.
But the fleets then factor in other expenses that consumers typically don’t, and upkeep is enormous. An electric vehicle does not need an oil change, and Ford claims there are 90% fewer parts in the electric propulsion system than in the gasoline version. He estimates a savings of 40% on maintenance costs over eight years or 160,000 km, the duration of the E-Transit warranty. Fewer service appointments mean less downtime, when the vehicle is not generating revenue or another van needs to be rented as a replacement.
The electric van will produce 266 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, driving the rear wheels, and with a 67 kWh battery for approximately 200 miles on a charge. That’s not much compared to some of the longer-range electric cars, but Ford says the average work van drives around 120 miles per day. Longer range costs more, and keeping the price low will be essential.
Continuity is also essential, and the E-Transit is available in the same configurations as the conventional Transit, with three body lengths, three roof heights, and chassis cab and cutaway models for the addition of specialized bodywork. The battery sits under the cargo floor, so it doesn’t affect cargo space, and the van retains all of its standard tie-down and mounting points. This is important for layout – items added afterwards, such as roof racks, interior shelving or storage.
When a van is out of service, companies usually buy the same type so they can just transfer the layout to the new one. Ford will offer an on-board generator, with an output of up to 2.4 kilowatts, that can run power tools such as a circular saw. It is similar to the generator available on some trim levels of the new F-150.
The E-Transit van will have a payload capacity of 3,800 lbs and up to 4,290 lbs for Chassis / Chainsaw vans. Towing capacity isn’t calculated, Ford said, because most customers don’t tow with these vans. Of course, the weight of the charge will factor into the battery life, as will the ambient temperature, speed and driving habits.
Electric cars are mostly bought by consumers, but a work van may be the key to the infrastructure and technology needed to push them to the fore.
The van can be recharged quickly, achieving around 48 kilometers of range in 10 minutes, although public fast-charging stations are still rare due to their cost and complexity. On 240 volts, it takes about eight hours to go from empty to full battery. Ford will offer a “connected” charging station, and if that pickup takes off, it could tip the workplace in a new direction. The station sets up at the driver’s house, and at the end of the working day, he brings the van home and charges it overnight. The connected terminal sends the charging data to the head office, which reimburses the driver for the electricity consumed.
The van itself can be connected in the same way via telematics. Ford has been offering this for a long time, so fleet managers can see where vehicles are located, any issues with them, and even how they are being driven or if they are stolen. The new system available, linked to the standard SYNC 4 and the built-in modem, can now also tell if a van is charging or needs it, pay the public charge or determine range based on temperature, traffic and even hilly routes.
The E-Transit isn’t Ford’s first electric work van. In 2011, Ford partnered with British Columbia-based Azure Dynamics on the compact Transit Connect Electric. Ford supplied the van without a powertrain, and Azure Dynamics added electric propulsion. It had around 90 km of range and at $ 57,400 it wasn’t much cheaper than the new E-Transit. Canada Post was the first customer, but only about 500 were contracted before Azure Dynamics went bankrupt a year later.
Today, Ford builds and supports E-Transit itself and delivers it through its 95 commercial vehicle centers across Canada. Its effectiveness will depend on a number of factors, and since fleets tend to turn over their vehicles gradually as each completes their term rather than loading new vehicles at the same time, this could take some time. . made serious inroads. But if so, every package delivered could have the potential to change the electric vehicle landscape everywhere.
LISTEN: Electrifying Canada’s Vast Truck and Bus Fleets
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