Ford revealed the production version of the new Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, Germany. The Transit Custom PHEV targets an all-electric driving range of 50 kilometers (31 miles), and uses the multi-award-winning Ford 1.0-liter EcoBoost gasoline engine as a range extender for total range exceeding 500 kilometers (310 miles).
Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market. The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with grid electricity, contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the vehicle to enter low-emissions zones. The PHEV model will enter volume production in the second half of 2019.
Ford also announced major enhancements to the Transit Custom line-up, including an upgraded 2.0-liter EcoBlue diesel with more powerful 185 PS variant, a segment-first diesel mild hybrid powertrain option, and advanced new connectivity and driver assistance features.
The Transit Custom PHEV uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, the front wheels being driven exclusively by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine.
Power for the motor is provided by a compact 14 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the load floor, which has been carefully positioned to preserve the full cargo volume offered by the standard Transit Custom van, and a payload exceeding 1,000 kg. Ford’s compact and fuel-efficient 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine generates additional charge for the batteries when required.
Ford Transit Custom PHEV prototypes are undergoing a 12-month fleet trial with real-world customers in London, covering in excess of 50,000 km (31,000 miles) to date, and Ford recently announced further trials will begin in Valencia, Spain.