ACCORDING to its' makers, it's the van which small businesses across Europe have been waiting for - but British businesses will have to wait a fair bit longer yet for the all-new Ford E-Transit Custom.
For this new, all-electric version of Europe's best-selling van isn't due to go into production at the company's Turkish plant until the autumn and, with initial production inevitably concentrating on models for mainland Europe, it could be well into 2023 before it goes on sale in the UK.
But when it does arrive here, businesses looking to switch to an EV fleet will have plenty to look forward to.
Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, calls it: "â¦ a Transit for the new era, but one that can still get its hands dirty when a job needs doing."
The company says that next-generation battery technology will provide a yet-to-be-confirmed targeted range of 236 milesand 125kW fast charging ability and that the new E-Transit Custom will offer outstanding performance.
It will come, says Ford, with new digital solutions for multi-drop deliveries and cab and load compartment access. The cab is also a business hub, with 5G connectivity via a 13-inch touchscreen and a flexible workspace including smart features like a steering wheel that folds to become an ergonomic holder for laptops and tablets. Depending on model it will have payloads up to 1,100kg with a lower load floor providing easier access.
EV power is provided by an advanced 400-volt, 74kWh battery pack with a choice of 100 or 160kW (135PS or 217PS) motor power outputs, each offering 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. An 11kW AC three-phase onboard charger is capable of fully recharging the battery in 7.8 hours.
The new van's standard suite of driver assistance systems will 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 sensorsand a 360-degree camera.