Sunday, June 26, 2022

For Fleet and Transport Professionals

Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid

Ford is the first manufacturer to deliver plug-in hybrid technology for zero-emission driving capability to the 1-tonne van segment, with the innovative new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid.

Combining zero-emission driving capability and no range anxiety, the first-in-class Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid van can be charged with mains electricity for a pure electric driving range of up to 56 km (35 miles) – contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the vehicle to enter the growing number of ultra-low-emission vehicle zones being introduced across Europe.

Featuring a technologically advanced hybrid architecture, the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid’s front wheels are driven exclusively by a 92.9 kW electric motor powered by a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine acts as a range extender for total driving range exceeding 500 kilometres (310 miles), 3.08 l/100 km fuel efficiency and 60 g/km CO2 emissions.*

A generous net payload of 1,130 kg and unchanged load volume of 6.0 m3 are facilitated by careful packaging of the compact battery pack beneath the floor. Giving confidence to businesses, the battery pack is covered by a standard eight-year/160,000 km (100,000-mile) warranty.

Available to order now with first deliveries before the end of the year, the new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid offers practical, high-productivity option for businesses that need to support clean-air targets in urban environments while retaining the driving range offered by a traditional combustion engine.

FordPass Connect on-board modem technology features as standard, enabling operators to maximise vehicle efficiency and utilisation. Introduced from spring 2020 and available for retro-fitment to earlier vehicles, a new Geofencing module will be able to automatically switch the vehicle to zero-emission driving EV Now mode when entering a low-emission zone. The technology will help ensure businesses comply with regulations and avoid charges or penalties.

Ford is also introducing a new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid eight-seat people-mover, utilising the same advanced powertrain technology. Offering superior levels of refinement in a spacious rear compartment with unique-in-segment conference seating, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid makes an ideal executive shuttle for businesses aiming to meet clean-air targets in areas such as inner cities or airports.

A charging port located within the front bumper enables the new Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid to be charged in 4.3 hours using a domestic 240-volt 10-amp power supply, or 2.7 hours using a commercial type-2 AC vehicle charger. Additional electrical energy is captured through regenerative charging when the vehicle decelerates or brakes.

Four selectable EV modes enable the driver to choose how and when to use the available battery charge:

EV Auto is intended to provide the optimum blend of performance and efficiency. The vehicle’s control algorithms monitor battery energy levels and the current driving scenario – such as whether motorway or stop-start driving – to decide whether to activate the range extender

EV Now prioritises usage of stored battery energy for emissions-free driving, deactivating the range extender until battery levels reach a minimum state of charge

EV Later prioritises the range extender and leverages regenerative charging to most efficiently maintain the current level of battery charge, ready for later use

EV Charge utilises the range extender to power the vehicle and to top up the battery for when further EV Now travel is needed

Drivers can also choose the degree of energy recovery and braking assistance afforded by the regenerative charging system by selecting either Drive or Low on the gear selector. Releasing the accelerator pedal in Low-mode increases programmed deceleration, automatically illuminating the brake lights when necessary to warn drivers behind. The greater deceleration supports greater use of a one-pedal driving approach, particularly in stop-and-start urban scenarios, increasing the amount of kinetic energy recovered and stored in the battery for optimised electric driving range.

Inside the cabin, a power/charge gauge replaces the standard rev counter. Optimised following feedback from participants in Ford’s year-long real-world Transit Plug-In Hybrid trial in London, U.K., the gauge clearly visualises real-time energy recuperation to help drivers maximise electric driving range.

A smaller gauge for battery state of charge replaces the engine coolant temperature indicator and trip computer functions are configured specifically for the hybrid powertrain. EV mode indicators, maintenance alerts and a warning when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point, appear on the instrument display cluster. A status graphic displaying distance-to-empty for both the battery and range extender is visible on all screen displays.

In combination with the standard FordPass Connect on-board modem, the FordPass mobile app enables drivers to remotely monitor their vehicle’s charge status. From spring 2020, Ford’s recently launched FordPass Pro app – specifically designed to support smaller firms and owner drivers to maximise their productivity – will allow customers to check on the battery state of charge for up to five vehicles.

Ford is also introducing a new smartphone and tablet application that will enable its plug-in hybrid vehicle owners and operators to easily locate, navigate to and pay for charging. In partnership with NewMotion, Ford offers access to the largest public charging network with extensive coverage across Europe. The new app will deliver simplified access and payment for Ford customers at more than 118,000 charging points in 30 countries. Customers will be able to seamlessly utilise charging points across many markets, initiating and paying for charging services from a single account for a simplified ownership experience.

Ford also recently announced it will partner with six leading energy suppliers across Europe to provide home charging wall box installation services and green energy tariffs for plug-in hybrid customers, including Centrica to offer services in the U.K. and Ireland. Ford’s wall box solution will deliver up to 50 per cent more charging power than a typical domestic socket, to reduce at-home charging times by up to one-third for customers of Ford’s plug-in hybrid models.

The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid will be offered in a single L1 H1 variant, with Van or Kombi bodystyles. The Van model is available in a choice of Base, Trend and high-specification Limited series. Cabin air-conditioning and a heated windscreen are standard on all vehicles, and available equipment includes Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, featuring an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures.

FordPass Connect on-board modem technology features as standard, enabling businesses to optimise productivity and vehicle utilisation through solutions such as the new Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services products launching later this year, and the new FordPass Pro app.

Available driver assistance technologies include Active Park Assist and Lane-Keeping Alert supported by standard electric power-assisted steering that is optimised for city driving and easy manoeuvring in busy commercial environments.

Two new features designed to provide important additional customer benefits for the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid will be introduced from spring 2020.

To help ensure Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid uses pure-electric power in low-emission zones, the standard. Geofencing module automatically switches the vehicle to EV Now mode when entering such a zone, or a user-specified geofenced area.

The module can be controlled via an app, and captures encrypted information about electric-only operation within geofenced zones that can be securely shared with local authorities to confirm compliance to low-emission zone regulations. 

By removing the risk of accidentally straying into a charge zone while using the range extender, the geofencing module could reduce operator stress and save businesses money from fines and penalties.

An optional 12-volt Epower Pack will enable operators to run high-power electrical equipment such as power tools or site lights from the vehicle’s high-voltage battery, using an easily accessible connection delivering up to 6 kW of power.

Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid

Also available to order before the end of this year, the first-in-class Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-mover shares the advanced hybrid drivetrain of the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid. Delivering 3.57 l/100 km fuel efficiency, 70 g/km CO2 emissions and a pure electric driving range of up to 53 km (33 miles), the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid also is covered by Ford’s eight-year/160,000 km (100,000-mile) battery pack warranty.

Offered in upscale Titanium specification, the new eight-seater Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid has been engineered to provide superior levels of comfort, with exceptional refinement for occupants particularly when running in electric-only driving mode. Spacious interior dimensions remain the same as for the 2.0‑litre EcoBlue diesel variant, making the people-mover an ideal choice for executive travel in cities.

The Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid also continues to offer the unique-to-segment ability to arrange the two rear rows of seats in conference format for outstanding access and enhanced interaction between passengers – or in two rows of three seats facing forward.

“Uniquely innovative and flexible, the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid can give owners and operators the advantage of being able to drive in ultra-low-emissions zones,” Porter said. “Whether delivering executive shuttle services or ferrying large families, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid will offer a relaxing and refined environment for passengers, while also contributing to improved local air quality in busy urban environments.”

Results of the year-long trial with customers

Results of a year-long trial in London suggest that plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) commercial vehicles could present the most practical, readily available option for businesses trying to meet clean-air targets in cities.

The trial – which was supported by £4.7 million grant from the U.K. Government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre – consisted of 20 Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans covering 150,000 miles over a 12-month period. The trial sought to test whether businesses could carry out the typical daily duties of their diesel-powered vehicles, while maximising the use of zero-emissions electric-only mode.

The participants in the trial – Addison Lee Group, Autoglass, British Gas, Clancy Plant, DPD, Heathrow Airport, Interserve, Mears Group, the Metropolitan Police, Morrison Utility Services, RNLI, Royal Mail, Speedy Hire, Sky, Transport for London and Vodafone – represented a cross-section of city-based businesses, and integrated the Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans into their day-to-day operations. 

During the trial, 75 per cent of the fleet’s mileage in Central London and 49 per cent in Greater London was completed using pure electric power. The results highlight that even without a fully established electric vehicle charging network, the hybrid vans were able to dramatically reduce tailpipe emissions in the inner city, using the flexibility of a petrol range-extender to complete longer journeys when required.

Commercial vehicles in London already make 280,000 journeys on a typical weekday, travelling a total of eight million miles – and this figure is rising. Vans represent 75 per cent of peak freight traffic, with more than 7,000 vehicles per hour driving at peak times in Central London alone.

A similar picture can be found in other major European cities, driven partly by rapid growth in online retail. Consequently, tighter emissions controls are being introduced by authorities throughout the continent, increasing pressure on businesses to find sustainable, practical solutions.

“Emissions-free mobility is essential for the future of our cities and their citizens, but we know there are still barriers we face in the move to electrification,” said Mark Harvey, director, Urban Electrified Van programme. “We also know that businesses still have legitimate concerns about the range of fully-electric vehicles, as well as their cost-effectiveness and reliability. These trials have helped Ford and its customers to investigate the extent to which PHEVs can help to achieve urban air quality goals, whilst not compromising on productivity.”

Ford recently announced that a new all-electric Ford Transit will join the company’s European line-up of electrified commercial vehicles in 2021. Designed to deliver pure-electric propulsion, the new van will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities, and reduced running costs for business and operators.

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