Ford announces launch of E-Transit pilot program ahead of series production
Ford Pro, the commercial products, services & distribution arm of American automotive giant Ford Motor Company, has announced the launch of a pilot program with its upcoming fully-electric E-Transit van.
The pilot program involving Ford E-Transit commercial electric vehicle (EV) has been launched to allow potential buyers to evaluate the environment-friendly vehicles in terms of performance, charging solutions as well as to experience advantages of Ford Pro connected software. The first batch of pre-production EVs was deployed with National Grid and Penske Truck Leasing, among the first companies.
Announcing the pilot program, Ford said, “The plan is to help companies begin integrating all-electric E-Transit vans into their fleets to evaluate vehicle performance, understand charging solutions and experience advantages of Ford Pro connected software.”
However, the manufacturer didn’t reveal how many companies or businesses are participating in the countrywide pilot program. The number of upcoming EVs involved in the pilot program was also not revealed. The company just said that the pilot program involving the Ford E-Transit spans a number of industries, including rental, maintenance, telecom, delivery service and utilities. Both small and medium-sized commercial businesses are participating in the pilot program.
The National Grid has selected a low-roof cargo version of the upcoming EV. The company said it will test the electric van on regular home meter-reading routes to make sure that it can perform the same operations that are currently being performed by gas-powered vehicles.
The manufacturer has plans to offer the commercial EV in eight different configurations, including a cargo van with three different roof heights and three different lengths in addition to cutaway and chassis cab.
Tech specs of the E-Transit include rear-wheel drive, electric motor output of 198 kW producing 266 horsepower and 430 Nm (317 lb.-ft.) of torque, a range of 126 miles (roughly 203 km) in the low-roof cargo van variant, while range rating in Europe is up to 349 km (roughly 217 miles).
Usable battery capacity has been reported at 67 kWh, payload target is 3,800 pounds (1,724 kg) for cargo van and 4,290 pounds (1,946 kg) for cutaway versions. Cargo space has been pegged at 487.3 cubic feet for the high-roof, extended-wheelbase variant. AC charging takes nearly 8 hours, while DC charging consumes up to 115 kW (15–80 per cent in just 34 minutes).
The series production of the all-electric Ford E-Transit is scheduled to start by the end of 2021, alongside the conventional Transit at the company’s Kansas City Assembly Plant.
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