Ford Motor Company Announces a Fully-Electric Transit Van, it Will Debut as a 2022 Model
【Summary】Ford Motor Company's Transit van is going fully-electric and will join the upcoming electric Mustang-inspired Mach-E SUV and F-150 pickup as Ford’s latest fully-electric models in development.
Ford's Transit van has become an industry staple since it was first introduced in 1965. The van is used for countless commercial applications around the world and has become an important vehicle in Ford's commercial vehicle lineup. Now the Transit van is going fully-electric and will join the upcoming electric Mustang-inspired Mach-E SUV and F-150 pickup as Ford's latest fully-electric models.
The electric Transit van will offer Ford's customers a zero emissions alternative for the first time. The electric transit will also help improve air quality and noise levels in densely populated urban areas, making it ideal for last-mile delivery services. And with a much quieter electric powertrain it can operate at night.
Ford is targeting commercial customers with its electric Transit van by offering smart and connected features, such as in-vehicle high-speed data architecture cloud-based services so commercial customers can optimize their fleet's performance.
In addition, the Transit van will be a lower cost alternative to combustion engine vehicles, as commercial vehicles with fully-electric powertrain require significantly less scheduled maintenance, plus lower operating costs.
The van will be built in the U.S. as part of Ford's $11.5 billion investment in electrification through 2022. The electric van will debut in the U.S. and Canada as a 2022 model year, giving businesses sustainable vehicle option and lower cost of ownership.
Fleet managers will be able to access vehicle data collected through Ford Telematics using an embedded FordPass Connect modem featuring a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. Among Ford's data services are live map GPS tracking, geofencing and remote vehicle diagnostics.
The electric Transit is also more versatile. For example, fully-electric vehicles can operate where conventional vehicles cannot, including indoors, in environments with limited ventilation or at night in areas with where noise is a concern.
Electric Transit van customers will also have access to the largest public EV charging network in North America. The "FordPass Charging Network" includes 12,000 EV charging stations in a new partnership with Greenlots and Electrify America.
Ford says its strong presence in the commercial vehicle market over the past 35 years will help support customers, such as having access to an extensive parts and service network nationwide.
The all-electric Transit is not a one size fits all. It will also be available in different configurations, including cargo van, cutaway or chassis cab. Ford will offer three roof heights and three body lengths for a variety of business needs.
"Commercial vehicles are a critical component to our big bet on electrification," said Jim Farley, chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company in a statement. "As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150. This Ford Transit isn't just about creating an electric drivetrain, it's about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward."
Ford's Transit van is popular with commercial customers.
Ford has been the best-selling commercial van brand for 41 years and the company expects its van sales to grow, mainly due to the rapid growth of e-commerce deliveries.
Ford's overall van sales in the last quarter of 2019 were the highest fourth quarter results since 1978, with sales of 59,930 vans. Ford said it expects electric vehicles will grow to 8 percent of the industry by 2025 in the U.S.
"The world is heading toward electrified products and fleet customers are asking for them now," said Farley. "We know their vehicles operate as a connected mobile business and their technology needs are different than retail customers. So Ford is thinking deeply on connectivity relationships that integrate with our in-vehicle high-speed electrical architectures and cloud-based data services to provide these businesses smart vehicles beyond just the electric powertrains."
The competition to build electric vehicles for e-commerce is already heating up. Electric truck startup Rivian is designing an electric delivery van for Amazon. Amazon ordered 100,000 of Rivian's electric vans after investing $700 million in the company in February 2019.
Two months later, Ford invested $500 million in Rivian to jumpstart its own electric vehicle development. Ford is reportedly working with Rivian on the upcoming electric F-150 pickup. Ford's luxury division Lincoln is coming out with an SUV that will be built on Rivian's skateboard EV platform.
Meanwhile, Ford's U.S. rival General Motors has its own electrification plans, including the resurrection of Hummer as a fully-electric truck brand as well as a fully electric pickup truck.
Ford says that further details about the all-electric Ford Transit and its features will be revealed at a later date.
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