To help improve air quality in London, Ford Motor Company will be deploying 20 plug-in hybrid electric Ford Transit Custom vans for downtown duties such as deliveries and maintenance work. By running solely on electric power for approximately 30 miles of city driving, these vehicles will contribute to reducing local emissions. This effort complements Ford’s plans to introduce 13 new global electrified vehicles in the next five years.
The Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in the London trial are an advanced design that allows the vehicles to be charged with electricity for zero-emission trips, while featuring an on-board combustion engine for extended range when longer trips are required. A Ford telematics system will collect data on vehicle financial, operational and environmental performance to help understand how the benefits of electrified vehicles can be optimized.
“Ford is the No. 1 commercial vehicle brand in Europe and it’s now going electric. Teaming up with our London partners, we will also be able to trial software and telematics with enormous potential to reduce emissions and costs in the city,” said Jim Farley, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. “This new type of partnership demonstrates our evolution to both an auto and mobility company. We have lots of work to do, but everyone is so energized by this breakthrough opportunity.”
Commercial vehicles in London make 280,000 trips on a typical weekday, traveling a total of 8 million miles. Vans represent 75 percent of peak commercial traffic, with more than 7,000 vehicles an hour on the road in central London alone.
“The freight sector’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles is central to cleaning up London’s toxic air,” said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. “Transport for London continues to lead by example by increasing the number of its own vehicles that are electric and will find the data from these trials an invaluable resource for the LoCITY program, which encourages the uptake of low-emission commercial transport.”
The Ford Transit plug-in hybrid program is expected to launch in the fall of 2017.