Ford E-Transit: Could it be a gamechanger?

Electric cars are being accepted. The sales are the highest they have ever been, and the paperwork of the adoption process seems to be going through. Electric vans though, they are still very much in the orphanage- to keep with the same metaphor.

EV Sales

Just over 190,00 fully EVs and just over 114,000 PHEVs joined our roads and just over 147,000 HEVs, those are large numbers and they equate to 27.5% of all new cars registered in 2021. To be fuel tank half full for a second, that means that 72.5% of new vehicles in 2021 has internal combustion engines- as a number of vehicles, that is 1,197,473- so there is still much work to do.

Image: Teslas have been the poster boy for the journey into the world of EV (picture courtesy of Tesla)

The most popular fully electric van, the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, sold in lower numbers last year than the Ford Transit Custom sold in October. That is slightly problematic, especially as the government have decided to lower the incentives for buying an electric van when electric van sales made up 3.6% of new van registrations last year.

What has changed?

The Government’s standpoint on this was that, “Plug in Van Grant order in 2021 are already over 250% higher than in 2020, demonstrating a strong shift to an electric future.” That makes sense then, but the electric van market will have to grow much faster to be able to meet the no diesel sale goal of 2030. As we have seen with some Vauxhall cars though, manufacturers will have to make their vehicles cheaper in response to the grant reducing- which can only be a good thing.

Image: The Vauxhall Vivaro-e was the bestselling electric van in 2021 (picture courtesy of Vauxhall)

Where does the Ford E-Transit come in?

Believe it or not, this article has been about the Ford E-Transit. Confusing I know. But I think it could be the key to jumpstarting the electric van market.

People who need a van usually only have to decide on one thing- what size they need their Transit to be. For those of us who want to think about changing towards an environmentally option, there is not currently a Ford Transit EV. Things are about to change on that front though, as the Spring is set to bring an E-Transit.

The popularity of the Transit could the bolt of lightning the electric van market desperately needs. Judging by the early signs, it will mot disappoint either.

The Power

Ford have decided to offer it with two motor options. The least powerful of the two makes the same amount of power as the current diesel transit at 183hp but the most powerful option makes around the same amount of power as the Ford Focus ST- at 269hp. That may sound a bit ridiculous in a Transit, but it will mean a more efficient electric motor that will not be pushed to the limit all the time- or it means the Transit should be offered with go-faster stripes and rear spoiler. Probably the former though. The motor also produces 430Nm of torque, which is about the same as the new Land Rover Defender.

Image: The diesel Ford Transit will be phased out and electric versions of all of Ford’s LCVs will be offered (picture courtesy of Ford)

Practicality

The Transit will also offer 196 miles of range on a single charge and rapid charging 15% to 80% in 34 minutes which will cover the daily use of most LCV drivers. The other element that will help most van drivers is the maximum payload. To cover the extra weight required for batteries, new legislation means 4.25 ton vans can be driven on the same license as up to 3.5 ton internal combustion engine vans. With that loophole, it means the E-Transit has a maximum payload of 1,758kg- which is 284kg more than the maximum payload of the diesel Transit.#

What else can it do?

There are some other options available with the E-Transit that affect the day to day too. Ford Telematics is a subscription system that can be added to a fleet of vehicles (included in the purchase price for the first year) and it will allow employers to monitor the efficiency and battery percentages of their vehicles remotely and in real time. That is not the only thing though, fleet operators will also be able to set the climate control remotely, see the charging speed and remaining driving range.

Image: The diesel Transit was the best selling vehicle for 2021 in the UK, which could prove promising for the E-Transit (picture courtesy of Ford)

Personally, I think some of those options will create more arguments than they are worth but employees can benefit from payment management from the telematics system by showing the home and public charging of the vehicle. That resolves the question of “who is going to pay for the extra power I’m having to pay for at home”- as with the rise in energy prices soon to come, that could prove heated.

Some other options which have the potential to be beneficial or annoying include FordPass Pro- which will provide real-time driver coaching to make the vehicle more efficient. If you want to make sure you are getting the maximum number of miles possible per charge, then you will like this. If you are tired after a long day, sitting in seemingly endless traffic on the way home- you probably will not welcome a computer telling you how to drive.

Image: The diesel Transit was the best selling vehicle for 2021 in the UK, which could prove promising for the E-Transit (picture courtesy of Ford)

Ford ProPower could be useful though, as it allows the electric battery to be used as a power source for equipment and tools. Up to 2.3kWh of the 68kWh battery can be used for this but it can also be used to power a refrigeration unit on a grocery van.

The E-Transit will be available in two different specifications, the Leader (base model at £42,695) and the Trend (£46,490).

Verdict

By the time it arrives, there will be some tough competition alongside the E-Transit- but that should not be too much of a worry because everyone since the stone age has bought a Transit and if there is a day when the final order is put in for one- the only explanation can be the following day is the end of the world. It is nice to see that Ford have not just relied on the name and have made a viable alternative to the diesel workhorse- with some innovations to follow suit.

What can we do to help?

If you are thinking of swapping the petrol pump for the charging plug, then we can help at Van MonkEV to find the right vehicle to suit your needs.

As always, thanks for reading and we hope to speak to you soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Menu