Ford’s all-electric E-Transit is starting work on European roads as customer trials commence with a selection of major fleet operators. This is ahead of the volume sales launch that will take place in spring 2022.
The trial kicks off with 10 E-Transit prototypes being put to the test across a variety of intensive real-world operating scenarios. These include 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 fleet of trial electric vehicles (EVs) 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.
These will be in a variety of specialised vehicle conversions that reflect the complex operating requirements that Transit vehicles need to support. This includes a refrigerated box body for grocery deliveries and last-mile delivery versions.
The last mile models feature a walkthrough bulkhead with rear air suspension and bonded internal racking. Ford also has a dropside body designed for construction with light beacons and weight sensors, along with a caged tipper for refuse removal.
Dave Petts, Ford of Europe market lead, urban electrified vans, said: “We want to demonstrate that helping customers reduce their environmental impact can go hand-in-hand with improving their productivity.
“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. These follow a demanding testing programme at Ford’s proving grounds and engineering facilities. Trials partners will operate the E-Transit prototype electric vans over a six or 12-month period.