• Ford Transit Plug-in Electric Hybrid Provides a Glimpse Into Ford’s Electrification Technology (News)

    ford transit custom electric hybrid
    Ford Transit Custom with plug-in electric hybrid drive

    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 transit custom van electric hybrid
    Ford Transit Custom van

    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.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

    43 thoughts on “Ford Transit Plug-in Electric Hybrid Provides a Glimpse Into Ford’s Electrification Technology (News)

    1. All you electric doubters must be thinking you are in a bad dream.
      Its just one day after another with all the trucks coming out that are electric.
      And a combustion generator will never happen. Except it just keeps happening every day!
      Some day you will admit you were wrong.

      1. This could be the hybrid system range extender put into the F150.
        That would be good, but I was hoping they would put a their big 3.2 liter diesel engine as a generator and only have a small battery.
        I don’t want these expensive and heavy batteries. Not yet anyway.

            1. Mmmm, could be very big news if it goes in the F-150. But I cant imagine they will do this 1.0 for a generator. You wan the 2.7 or 2.3 as a generator. Yes, better yet, the 3.2 diesel.

              Continuous full power for the whole fuel tank is the goal, just like any regular truck. Not a little 1.0 liter generator.

            2. Wait, ye’all. I think this is the Transit Connect. The video is the Connect, and I think the upper pictures might be too. Not the big Transit.
              Gotta be a bigger engine for the bigger Transit and F-150s.

      2. Chris – – –

        It’s not just a “bad dream”: it’s an outright nightmare! (Just kidding)
        Actually, this is a perfect use for hybrid technology: short haul, local situations, — with “leeway” to spare, if more range is needed.
        Congratulations to Ford! (Credit where credit is due.)

        Again, let the market establish its own equilibrium..


          1. Chris – – –

            It’s the “fools” (like me), who buy the products, remember? And just how don you propose the “lead” otherwise? Only on real way I know: “put your money where your mouth is”. Purchase counts for everything in economics. — and economics determines the future of what will actually take place.


            1. CORRECTION – – –

              Boy, what a lousy post! Let’s try again:

              It’s the “fools” (like me), who buy the products, remember? And just how do you propose to “lead” otherwise? Only one real way I know: “Put your money where your mouth is”. Purchase counts for everything in economics, — and economics determines the future of what will actually take place.


            2. I think simply complaining about things and insulting everyone else who does not agree with you ought to just about do it.

        1. This thing makes sense-low speed, a lot of stop and go, decent range on electric only, small engine capable of providing the average power requirements (made possible with the use of a battery) of this type of duty cycle.

          1. Exactly, application application application…

            You will never find advertised the performance and economy of this sort of vehicle or concept from the starting point of having forgotten to charge the night before and waking up to a dead battery.
            A. Jump start the generator motor
            B. Wait a little while for it to build enough juice to get going
            C. Suffer through decreased performance and merely average fuel consumption if you hop straight onto a highway rather than through stop n’ go traffic where the battery has a chance to recover.

      3. I like the electric motor. But Charging a battery for me is very expensive. Every homeowner where I live goes into tier 3 during the summer months. Either that or their homes are kept at a mid 80’s temp. Or they are not home most of the time.
        For me that is very uncomfortable.

        Electricity in tier 3 costs an even 40 cents per kWh. That is expensive.

        This August I am going to use over 1650 kwh in a 1100 sq ft home. I live by myself but i usually have at least 1 grand child with me every day. A 500 dollar electric bill is very common even with out a electric car. That’s an May through October average.

        I have solar cells and I over produce by about 3000 kWh per year. Those extra cells to get my over production, cost about 25 dollars a month. And I doubt 3000kwh would be close to charging a battery in a car that is driven a lot. (I added the extra cells in case i decide to sell the house. I figure that most likely the new buyer will be a family.)

        Let’s say I don’t need any more extra cells to keep a battery charged.

        The reality is I don’t use 25 dollars in gas per month in my KIA.

        And the extra cost of replacing my truck would be foolish.

        Wait on the fuel cell. That and a electric motor will be magic.

        I would buy a truck with a fuel cell if it had decent payload and towing capacity.

        If that happened I’d get rid of my second car and drive the truck exclusively.

        By decent I mean excluding passengers a 2000lbs payload capability. And 8000lbs towing capacity. (Remember you cannot physically drive safely anything more than a 27 foot trailer on most Sierra roads.

        1. Some quick calculations put a usable gallon of gasoline at $0.36 per kWh ($3/gal, 33.41 kWh/gal, 25% conversion efficiency), so yeah, electric wouldn’t make much sense for you.

    2. Well, I think TFL might have it wrong again. The announcement is for the big Transit with a 1.0 liter range extender. But the text of this TFL article does not specify that necessarily and further muddies the water with a video on the small Transit Connect.
      Gad Zooks, TFL!

      1. Further investigation says the range extender electric combination in this is equivalent to today’s 2.0 diesels.
        I know, not enough for this big of a vehicle or the F-150. But a Ranger would be nice with this, and more trailable as a 4×4.

        1. As a Ranger on the trail, it would be great, but as a tow machine, this is too small. Way too small for a full size, unless used as a city grocery cart. Which gives me an idea! Its perfect for the Raptor. 🙂

      2. @Dale H. It’s worse than that. The ‘Transit Custom’ is a euro vehicle and a midsize van (like the Mercedes Metris) that isn’t offered in the US. So it’s a 1 tonne van that we haven’t seen here yet. I sure do wish they WOULD bring them here. I would buy one. Right now the Transit connect is not capable enough and the full size Transit Passenger is far too large for my daily use.

      3. Hello Dale H. The Ford press release talks about the Ford Transit Custom van, which is currently available in Europe and other markets (not in the United States). The images are of the Transit Custom van. We have never done a video review with the full-size Transit, so the Transit Connect video is here for reference.


        1. Andre,
          Correct most common Transit sold in Australia. Conpetitors are Hyndai Iload Toyota Hiace and Renault Trafic to name a few. Ford Transit Connect is snaller and not sold in Australia

    3. Wat! No transmission on this? !!!!!!!!

      But some druggies here on TFL comment section assure me that a no transmission range extender will never happen!

      BTW, have you ever tried to rehab a brain damaged druggie on a comment section? And they just keep persisting?

      Ah, humans.

      1. Chris – – –

        C: “Ah, humans.”

        Yeah, I feel for ya’, bro. Us robots have it so much better. Ever since we started driving ICE’s, there is just so much less electrical interference..


    4. A manual transmission is just about mainence free. I know the transit doesn’t have the manual trans option. But many economy minded cars do. Of course there are clutch replacement costs. A few hundred bucks per 100,000 miles.
      The battery is a very expensive mainence part. I’ve heard 8000 dollars on a prius plus labor.

    5. We have already had 75 days of over 100 degree days. Many over 110 degrees. A short step out into Wal-Mart to do some shopping will see you return to cabin temps over 160 degrees. You will need gloves to hold onto the stearing wheel. Leather seats will burn your legs if you are wearing shorts.
      So now you head up the grapevine pass headed to disneyland in 110 degree heat. And your in a 1L turbo hybrid.
      It won’t run the air conditioner.
      If you don’t do out of town driving.
      You aren’t spending enough money on gas to justify a new car.

      Wait on a fuel cell. Buying battery cars now that will not meet your expectation is only delaying the inevitable hydrogen infrastructure.

    6. I have something to say. I paid $5.23/gallon for regular fuel today in Canada. Wake up people. Bernie the fuel industry is certainly pricing themselves out of business at the worst time or maybe they realize the inevitable is happening and they are going to drain our pockets the best they can for the remainder of time they have left.

      1. Yes , you deserve that. BC. You buy gasoline from US and don’t want to build a new pipeline from Alberta to export oil. We should cut you off completely, so you have no gasoline and you have to drive a Triple A batteries trucks.
        You would change your tune in here immediately.

      2. Rambro the only people that is draining your pocket is the government !!! Look at your tax on your gas!!! My God you are so dam piss off at the private sector that provides you gas yet you don’t give dam about the government ripping you off at the pump on taxes!!! If we can channel that anger in the right direction to Ottawa or in any Providence Capitol that you live in you would have cheap gas!!!

    7. Most of that $5.23 is government taxes, those costs will not go away just because you have a electric vehicle. They will be passed on to registration fees and your electric meter.
      Many states have already started a special registration fee for electric vehicles. My GOD, if you use the road you have to pay for it some how.
      The price you list is very misleading.
      Is that Canadian dollars per imperial gallon.

      Or US dollars per American gallon.

      Or one of a dozen other possibilities .

      I just filled up at $2.39 American dollars per 1 US gallion.

      Canadians pay for many government programs through gas taxes. Each provemce a little different than the rest.
      If your in a provemce with a lot of tourists. It may make sence to tack on a portion of the costs of your health insurance or social security to your gas tax.

      Europe does the same. You have high taxes. And a single payer health program.

      We have low gas tax but ***** for health insurance.

      1. Bingo buddy !!! You guys get so dam mad at the private sector for raising the gas prices , then you’ll shrug your shoulders if government raise the taxes. Penny here next year 2 pennies 2 more years and so forth and so on that now in the states that some of them are over 50¢ in taxes. And nobody says nothing, but big oil we beat them over the head with a base ball bat if they raise a penny!!!

    8. After 32 replies, I just have to say it. This thing is possibly the ugliest vehicle I have ever seen. I wouldn’t care if it came with two years of free electricity, I still would never buy one!

    9. I owned a 1 liter Fiesta, it’s a beautiful torque monster, truly a remarkable power plant.

      For around town this drivetrain would be a great match. It’s not designed to haul heavy loads at high speeds for long distances.

    10. The fiesta isn’t 10 feet tall and intended to haul gvwr of over 6000 lbs.
      Electric motors have great torque at low speeds

      But under load they use a lot of electricity.
      Witness my home A.C.. It’s a money thief.

    11. Common van for common Man.

      I wonder if this 1.0l was purposely design for a hybrid set for all the smaller vehicles? 31 miles I would assume is with out a ld? I wonder if it is the same with a ld? 31 out 300+ miles is not real impressive.

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