Ford-Pro electric E-Transit Custom set to drive small business EV revolution
Ford Pro today introduced the van small businesses across Europe have been waiting for. The all-new E-Transit Custom, the all-electric version of Europe’s best-selling van, is designed from the ground up to deliver new levels of productivity to customers in the one-tonne van segment.
Ford brought the global power of its research, engineering and software capabilities to bear on E‑Transit Custom, combining advanced electric vehicle technology with Ford Pro’s digital ecosystem of software and services to help businesses reduce cost of ownership, work more effectively, and simplify the transition to electric vehicles.
Inspired by insights from small and medium businesses, the E-Transit Custom offers innovative customer experiences based on cloud connectivity and digital technologies – that can all evolve through Ford Power-Up software updates during the vehicle’s life.
“Ford Pro and the E-Transit Custom are redefining what a commercial vehicle can do – powering working people and businesses into a new digital age,” said Jim Farley, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. “Our customers made Transit Custom the most popular commercial vehicle in Europe, and we’ve listened to those customers for well over 50 years. The new E-Transit Custom was designed and engineered to meet their needs – a Transit for the new era, but one that can still get its hands dirty when a job needs doing.”
Next-generation battery technology enables a targeted range of 236 miles and 125kW fast charging ability. E-Transit Custom will deliver outstanding performance for a range of customer needs – all supported by Ford Pro’s end-to-end solutions to manage and optimise charging.
To maximise productivity during the working day, E-Transit Custom offers new digital solutions for multi-drop deliveries, and cab and load compartment access. The cab is also a business hub, with 5G connectivity and a flexible workspace including smart features like a steering wheel that folds to become an ergonomic holder for laptops and tablets.
The digital innovation is combined with no-compromise load carrying and capability. E-Transit Custom delivers payloads up to 1,100kg, a lower load floor with easier access, and maximum towing capacity of 2,000kg. Independent rear suspension and class-leading motor power help deliver a new level of driving experience for customers.
“Powered by the Ford Pro digital ecosystem, E-Transit Custom offers a genuinely revolutionary proposition to European van customers,” said Ted Cannis, CEO, Ford Pro. “These vital businesses contribute €786 billion to Europe’s economy, and E-Transit Custom will give them a much-needed productivity boost as they transition to EVs.”
Ford Pro has also introduced the all-electric E-Transit, which has now sold more than 8,300 units, and E-Transit Custom is one of four new Ford Pro electric commercial vehicles coming to Europe by 2024. E-Transit Custom will be built by Ford Otosan in Kocaeli, Turkey, and is due to start production in autumn 2023.
All-electric power with uncompromised capability
E-Transit Custom’s capable new EV powertrain was designed to help small businesses and independent tradespeople – who previously relied on diesel powertrains to support their business needs – to make the switch to electric.
“Transit Custom is a hard act to follow – Europe’s top-selling van and last year’s best-selling vehicle overall in the UK – but the all-new E‑Transit Custom is a huge leap forward for our customers,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe. “E‑Transit Custom’s ground-up new design, unmatched connected ecosystem and innovative customer experiences will redefine productivity for our customers in the electric, connected era.”
E-Transit Custom’s 400-volt, 74kWh useable battery pack uses advanced 82Ah pouch cells shared with the Ford F-150 Lightning to deliver 12 per cent more energy density than the E‑Transit. The battery enables a targeted range of up to 236 miles – over four times the average one-tonne van driver’s daily mileage, according to Ford Pro customer data. The battery’s direct‑to‑body mounting improves durability and reduces weight for optimum range.
Customers can choose from 100kW or 160kW (135PS or 217PS) motor power outputs to suit their needs, each offering a class-leading 415Nm of torque. The drive motor is fitted directly to the vehicle’s rear floor, removing the need for a dedicated subframe, and is rotated 90 degrees to maximise loadspace and reduce weight and complexity. The powerful electric drivetrain delivers a class-leading towing capacity of up to 2,000kg, meaning E-Transit Custom could replace diesel vehicles in roles that no other all-electric van can match. An optional retractable towbar can be fitted for more convenience.
E-Transit Custom owners will benefit from the tailored features of Ford Pro E‑Telematics – complimentary for one year – which use live data to help operators monitor the location, efficiency and health of their vehicles for maximum productivity. The software also supports optimised charging strategies with EV-specific insights such as charging status, state of charge, and remaining range with customisable Low Range alert thresholds. Owners can also programme E-Transit Custom’s battery and cab to be warmed or cooled before work with Scheduled Pre‑Conditioning to conserve energy for optimum range.
E-Transit Custom is the first-ever electric vehicle to use vapour-injected heat pump technology to heat and cool the cabin, fitted as standard to all vehicles. This new system is designed to deliver improved energy efficiency for optimum driving range.
E-Transit Custom features an energy-efficient braking system with one-pedal drive capability. The system blends friction braking with regenerative braking that harvests energy during deceleration to top up the battery for extra driving range. Drivers can stop the van without using the brake pedal when in one-pedal drive mode, which drivers of the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach‑E liked and can make urban driving more relaxing and comfortable. Other available drive modes provide less deceleration to suit other driving scenarios. The system is designed to use the friction brakes frequently enough to prevent the discs from rusting or pitting.
Ford Pro Charging for easy energy management
Energy management is a key consideration for businesses – even more so for smaller operations that may not have access to full-time fleet managers, or depots for overnight charging. Time-constrained customers who park at home will benefit from Ford Pro’s expert consultation, simple wall-box installation and maintenance, integration with Ford vehicles and intuitive software to make planning and paying for charging easy.
Customers already decide where to buy fuel based on a price difference of a few per cent. Electricity prices can differ much more markedly, so using Ford Pro Charging’s software, drivers can make sure they schedule charging during cheaper overnight rates where available to help further reduce cost of ownership and ease operating stress.
E-Transit Custom’s 11kW AC three-phase onboard charger is capable of fully recharging the battery in 7.8 hours, so customers will be able recharge overnight after a shift. During busy days, they can track current charge state on-the-go using the FordPass Pro smartphone app.
E-Transit Custom also supports DC fast charging up to 125kW for a 15-80 per cent recharge in 41 minutes. A new charge profile front-loads the energy to enable quick, useful top-ups; in lab testing, the system delivered almost 24 miles of range in just 5 minutes using a 125kW charger. Ford Pro customers can access the Blue Oval Charging Network – Europe’s largest, with over 300,000 chargers and growing – and every E‑Transit Custom is sold with a 12-month complimentary subscription to access public charging via the Blue Oval Charging Network.
More than 30 separate modules are capable of receiving remote Ford Power-Up updates. These can help improve vehicle performance, deliver quality upgrades, update existing features and add all-new functions and capabilities. Most updates are completed in under two minutes and can be scheduled to avoid downtime. An eight-year, 100,000 miles warranty covers all high-voltage components, offering peace of mind for outright buyers and optimum residual values for lease customers and those who de-fleet before eight years of ownership.
Designed to deliver an unprecedented customer experience
Small businesses use their vans’ cabs as offices and canteens every day, and deep customer engagement from human-centred design lab D-Ford has made E‑Transit Custom better than ever at serving as both. A new tilting steering wheel headlines the Mobile Office option pack and is capable of becoming an ergonomic stand for tablets and laptops as well as a flat-topped table to make writing and lunch breaks more comfortable. The pack also includes dimmable LED lighting to illuminate the tilted steering wheel area, an additional dome light in the roof and storage between the seats for documents and devices.
Delivery drivers can make up to 200 stops and deliver 500 items per day, with every parcel against the clock. Delivery Assist helps streamline every delivery by automating some of the process to help save time and improve security. When enabled, Delivery Assist activates when the driver shifts into park. E-Transit Custom will automatically switch on its hazard lights, close any open windows, and lock the door once the driver leaves the van. When returning, the driver can keylessly enter and start the vehicle. The hazard lights will switch off and the windows will return to their previous position.
Digital Key is designed to simplify complex key management, and functions just like a hotel keycard. Operators can remotely assign and track keys to people and vehicles rather than spending time and money duplicating, managing and replacing keys.
Just as on E-Transit, ProPower Onboard is available to deliver up to 2.3kW through sockets in the cab and load area to power tools, lights and devices using the vehicle’s high-voltage battery while driving or at a work site.
To provide customers with added reassurance that their vehicle and its contents are secure, the security systems can be linked to the SecuriAlert feature in FordPass Pro. This provides a notification if it detects someone trying to access the vehicle, and also enables the user to lock or unlock doors remotely. Further details on advanced digital security features will be shared closer to launch.
New platform, new level of customer focus
Every small business’ van is their billboard. E‑Transit Custom’s confident stance, rebalanced proportions and full LED exterior lighting with distinctive light bar sets a new design benchmark for one-tonne vans. To maximise range, the flat floor, unique honeycomb grille, wind-cheating wheel designs and even rear light cluster shapes were developed using more than 800 different aerodynamic simulations, delivering a CdA improvement of more than 10 per cent compared to the previous-generation Transit Custom.
The vehicle’s load floor is lower than the outgoing model, to make loading cargo and accessing the cab easier. Engineers comprehensively analysed packaging, materials, safety and weight to deliver an architecture that integrates the battery into the load floor above the sill flange, eliminating the need for separate crash structures. Other underbody components are “shrink-wrapped” around the battery for optimum space and weight efficiency.
E-Transit Custom’s overall height is now under two metres to help access in height-restricted areas such as multi-storey car parks, garages, and underground loading bays. A class‑leading side load door aperture enhances loading, and a new access step makes climbing up to the load compartment even easier.
As a panel van, E-Transit Custom offers load volumes from 5.8 to 9.0m3, with payload up to 1,100kg 3 and a maximum load length of 3,450mm. Double-cab-in-van and kombi body styles are also available, all with a choice of short or long wheelbase and low or high roof. Owners who want to carry up to five occupants as well as longer items like pipe, planks or kayaks can specify the new L-Shaped Bulkhead, with a two-seat second row as well as a full-length cargo area with composite bulkhead. This segment-unique factory design removes the need for customers to make their own solutions if they need to carry passengers and lengthy cargo.
As on the larger E-Transit, all E-Transit Custom vans are fitted with semi-trailing arm independent rear suspension to contribute towards the lower floor height and to improve steering precision, handling and traction. The front wheels and strut towers have also been moved further forward, resulting in much better cross-cab access, improved foot space and footrests for occupants in the front, as well as a shorter front overhang for more confident parking and manoeuvring.
E-Transit Custom’s standard suite of driver assistance systems can potentially lower downtime, repair costs and insurance premiums by reducing the likelihood and mitigating the severity of collisions. The technologies include Pre-Collision Assist, Lane-Keeping System, Driver Alert, Cruise Control with Adjustable Speed Limiter, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Assist, Wrong Way Alert, front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera.
High-tech interior suits every vocation
E-Transit Custom offers a more spacious cab and increased secure storage compared to the outgoing model. The column-mounted shifter, electronic handbrake and “squircle” steering wheel combine to help cross-cab access – a valuable feature for drivers who park in tight areas and want to avoid getting out into live traffic. Ford is also introducing a segment-first roof-mounted airbag that enables dashboard storage large enough to take a laptop or A4 file, as well as increase flexibility for upfit panels and devices which can now be fitted closer to the driver using industry-standard AMPS mountings.
Every E-Transit Custom is fitted with a 13‑inch landscape touchscreen angled towards the driver for ease of use, equipped with Ford’s advanced SYNC 4 communication and infotainment system powered by a new 5G modem for superfast connectivity to the Ford Pro tech stack.
Ford designers went to such lengths when considering how owners would use E-Transit Custom that even the grains on materials used in the cabin and load area are designed to use textures that avoid trapping dirt and water, giving the best balance between offering a firm footing for wet or muddy boots and enabling heavy items to be slid in and out easily.
As van drivers often occupy the cabin alone, the heating and ventilation system has a new Driver Focus Mode option that uses sensors to direct airflow only to occupied seats. An intelligent windscreen, first introduced on the Ford Kuga SUV, monitors temperature and humidity, and automatically makes small heat and airflow changes to proactively keep the windscreen clear for improved efficiency and ease of use.
Improving uptime and service cost of ownership
Ford Pro anticipates that E-Transit Custom will deliver lower operating costs compared to an equivalent diesel vehicle; for E-Transit, the reduction in servicing cost of ownership can be as much as 40 per cent. As well as lower costs, customers will benefit from maximised uptime via Ford Pro Service’s FORDLiive connected uptime system.
E-Transit Custom owners can access its benefits by activating the built-in modem and enrolling in a Ford Pro Software package.
Projections show FORDLiive can reduce downtime by up to 60 per cent and the system has already enabled 145,000 days of additional vehicle availability this year, worth around €73 million to customers. For even more convenience and uptime, a fleet of over 110 Ford Pro Mobile Service vans across the UK and Germany is able to carry out 70 per cent of scheduled maintenance work. So far this year, Mobile Service vans have performed over 32,000 tasks to save customers the cost and downtime of a dealer visit.
All Transit Custom variants will be built by Ford Otosan – Ford’s joint venture in Turkey – in an all-new plant on the company’s Yeniköy site, delivered as part of a previously announced €2 billion facilities investment. The plant features state-of-the-art manufacturing and battery assembly facilities that strengthen Ford Otosan as a centre of excellence for commercial vehicle production and home of European Transit manufacturing. Alongside key investments in solar power and energy efficiency, the new site supports Ford Otosan’s plan to achieve carbon neutrality across all facilities in Turkey by 2030.
For more news on the new Transit Custom range, join Ford Pro’s news conference at the IAA Transportation Show in Hannover, Germany on September 19 at 09:15 GMT in Hall 13.