The results of Ford’s year-long real-world trial of Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vehicles in London suggest that plug-in hybrid electric commercial vehicles could present the most practical, readily available option for businesses trying to meet clean-air targets in cities.
A fleet of 20 prototype Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans covering more than 150,000 miles 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 driving mode.
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.
Further trials in Cologne, Germany, and Valencia, Spain, will provide data from different markets, cities and customer types, and will involve a mix of Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans and Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-movers.
Ford earlier this year announced that a new all-electric Ford Transit van will join the Transit range – anticipated for volume launch in 2021. The company also announced that every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate will include an electrified option – either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric – delivering one of the most comprehensive line-ups of electrified options for European customers.