The best-selling cargo van in the world - Ford Transit - is going digital, with an all-electric version coming for the 2022 model year.
"Commercial vehicles are a critical component to our big bet on electrification," said Jim Farley, chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company. "As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150. This Ford Transit isn't just about creating an electric drivetrain, it's about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward." For further information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vans 2020-2030.
With the world's best-selling cargo van and as America's best-selling commercial van brand for 41 years, Ford intends to lead the transition to zero emissions in the segment with its all-electric Transit. Ford's U.S. truck and van fleet sales have grown 33 percent since 2015 and the company expects continued growth of van sales in the U.S. as e-commerce and "last mile" delivery increase. Ford's overall van sales delivered their best fourth quarter results since 1978 on sales of 59,930 vans. For the year, Ford van sales totaled 240,529 vehicles. Ford expects electric vehicles to grow to 8 percent of the industry in 2025 in the U.S.
As consumers focus on reducing their own carbon footprints, more and more businesses are setting ambitious sustainability goals. Cities, meanwhile, are weighing increasingly stringent rules to address CO2, air quality and noise reduction goals.
The all-electric Transit, which will be American-built (built in the United States with domestic and foreign parts), is part of Ford's more than $11.5 billion investment in electrification through 2022. This vision includes all-electric vehicles that build on Ford's strengths and taps the company's all-electric technology to deliver even more performance, capability and productivity - including the all-electric Transit sold in Europe, Mustang Mach-E coming later this year and the previously announced all-electric F-150.
Smart and connected
"The world is heading toward electrified products and fleet customers are asking for them now," said Farley. "We know their vehicles operate as a connected mobile business and their technology needs are different than retail customers. So Ford is thinking deeply on connectivity relationships that integrate with our in-vehicle high-speed electrical architectures and cloud-based data services to provide these businesses smart vehicles beyond just the electric powertrains."
Smart technology built in to the all-electric Transit helps to optimize fleet efficiency and reduce waste, as well as improve driver behavior by providing insights into operator performance. Fleets can leverage insightful data collected through Ford Telematics™ using an embedded FordPass Connect™ modem featuring a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. Managers can use Ford Data Services™ tools like live map GPS tracking, geofencing and vehicle diagnostics to see key performance indicators at a glance for vehicle and driver.
A suite of Ford driver-assist technologies can help improve driver confidence and avoid or reduce the severity of a collision. The vehicle includes standard Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking plus Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning, Post-Collision Braking, Lane-Keeping System and auto high-beam headlamps.
Total package delivery machine
With 35 years of commercial vehicle leadership, Ford knows customers need the right tool to get the job done. The all-electric Ford Transit will offer uncompromised cargo capacity and the power of choice with a variety of chassis options, including cargo van, cutaway and chassis cab, plus three roof heights and three body lengths. Customers will have the full backing of the company's massive electric vehicle-certified dealer network, more than 730 commercial vehicle centers across the U.S. and Canada, and access to Ford's charging network - North America's largest public charging network.
Further details about the all-electric Ford Transit and its features will be revealed later.
Source and top image: Ford Motor Company