Ford announces a Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric van today at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2017 event in Millbrook, UK. The commercial van provides a glimpse at Ford’s electrification technologies for the commercial van and truck market. Ford is expecting to put this van into production in 2019.
The van is able to go up to 31 miles on electric power alone, according to Ford. Beyond that Ford is using the 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine as a generator. The total expected range for this van is 310 miles (500 km). This concept is meant for city deliveries in heavy traffic.
Ford did not specify the battery capacity that they are using nor the power output of the electric motor. However, the company points out that the small generator motor as a range extender allows the vehicle to use a smaller battery that improves the payload capability of the van and provides for shorter recharge times.
Ford is building 20 of these plug-in hybrids for testing purposes in London. Ford has announced an electrification strategy for the United States as well. This includes the 2020 Ford F150 and 2020 Ford Expedition. Will Ford use a similar generator/electric motor combination on a larger scale for the larger trucks? We will have to wait and see.