On November 12, Ford officially unveiled its second mass-produced EV, hot on the heels of the electric Mustang Mach-E. Capable of carrying a max load of 2,000 kg, the newly released E-Transit represents a new effort by Ford to dominate the commercial market. The EV has a 200 km mileage on a single charge, with a price tag of US$45,000 and an expected delivery date at the end of 2021.
The Ford Transit can be said to be the best-selling cargo van in the world, beloved by urban logistics and public workers. The electric version has now finally made its formal debut as a low emissions alternative to the conventional commercial vehicle.
Appearance-wise, the E-Transit is basically the mirror image of its gas-guzzling counterpart, with the same cargo size and mounting points, making it easy for Transit drivers to seamlessly transition to the electric model.
In light of the obvious difference between the vanilla Transit and the electric version, Ford has decided to target a relatively conservative battery capacity to keep the sticker price affordable for most fleets, given the high cost of battery packs. The E-Transit holds a very modest 67 kWh of electricity, powered by Li-ion battery packs from LG Chem, installed at the bottom on the chassis. This battery capacity is good for about 200 km of driving range per charge.
According to Ford, Transits in the U.S. are currently driven for about 118 km per day on average. With this figure as a baseline, Ford has ensured that, prior to the E-Transit’s release, the new EVs have sufficient mileage to handle the vast majority of daily workloads and use cases with a single charge, even in certain challenging road conditions.
Ford has also outfitted the E-Transit with the same Pro Power onboard AC system found in its F-150 Hybrid trucks. With Pro Power engaged, the E-Transit can double as a mobile power generator capable of outputting 2.5 kW of electricity.
One of the benefits of electric cargo trucks is that they can be quickly recharged upon returning to the freight facility. The E-Transit supports 115 kW DC quick-charge, which provides about 50 km of mileage in just 10 minutes. Theoretically, electric logistic cargo vans do away with the traditional vans’ need to stop at a gas station during the delivery trip and have maintenance work done on its engine and gearbox, since the EVs can be slow-charged at night, after the final delivery of the day. Once daytime rolls around, the battery is now full, and once the first delivery of the day has been made, the vans can be quick-charged at the freight facility as it picks up the next batch of deliveries, thereby removing the need to go out of its way to be refueled at a gas station.
The all-electric model of the Ford Transit is similarly equipped with ADAS, which features a 12-inch touchscreen and is centrally controlled by Ford’s Sync4 information system, which provides functions such as voice recognition, navigation, and OTA updates. In addition, buyers can choose from a whole gamut of optional features including ACC, automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, 360-degree video, circular clutch, and electronic handbrake, the latter two of which are available only in the electric model of the Transit.
For logistics companies, a remarkable advantage of EVs is the ease of fleet management. These companies can monitor the telemetry of each vehicle through the equipped smart vehicle tracking systems. Furthermore, route optimization for efficient deliveries becomes a piece of cake with these vehicles, in turn leading Amazon and Walmart to hasten their EV fleet strategies.
The E-Transit is equipped with a single-motor RWD drivetrain and capable of outputting 266 hp and carrying a max load of nearly 2,000 kg. The van also has a maximum cargo space of 487.3 ft3 (about 13,790 L). Buyers can choose from various configurations, with three heights and three lengths available.
The E-Transit will be manufactured at Ford’s Kansas factory, with a forecasted delivery date by the end of 2021 at the earliest. Base models are priced at US$45,000 (about NT$1.26 million).
(Photo Source: Ford)