Plug-in Ford Transit Custom hybrid introduces automatic electric mode
The new Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid now comes with the option of geofencing technology to help improve urban air quality.
Live location data and geofence module automatically switches Transit Custom hybrid to electric drive mode in low-emission zones.
Using live location data, the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) automatically switches to electric drive mode whenever entering predefined areas such as congestion and low emission zones.
The geofencing module was introduced from summer 2020 and will be available later in the year to retrofit to vehicles produced earlier. The vehicle will engage its electric drive mode when entering a geofence zone only if there is sufficient charge in the battery.
The geofencing tech need not only apply to city centres: vehicle operators can also create “green zones” to encourage low-emission driving near schools, playgrounds and warehouses. When the vehicle leaves a controlled zone, it automatically switches to the most appropriate drive mode for the next leg of the journey.
“Improving the quality of air – and quality of life – in our towns and cities is a goal that we all have a responsibility to drive towards,” said Mark Harvey, Ford’s European commercial vehicle mobility director.
“The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid and its new geofencing feature helps our customers to make a real contribution to that goal without compromising on efficiency or productivity.”
The geofence module in the Transit PHEV records information about electric-only operation within geofenced areas, referring to a virtual fence or perimeter around a physical location. The encrypted data can be shared with authorities to confirm compliance with low-emission zone regulations, avoiding the risk of wrongful fines and penalties.
The Transit Custom PHEV van and Tourneo Custom PHEV people mover are the first vehicles in their class to offer a hybrid-electric option. A 13.6 kWh battery helps to deliver a zero-emission NEDC driving range of up to 35 miles for the Transit Custom PHEV, and up to 33 miles in the Tourneo Custom PHEV.
In both vehicles the onboard 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine can charge the battery on-demand to extend their range up to 343 and 317 miles combined respectively.
Both vehicles can be fully recharged in under four-and-a-half hours from a standard domestic mains supply, or in under three hours using a commercial charging point. (Fully charged from a standard 240V 10-amp mains supply in 4 hours 20 minutes, or in 2 hours 45 minutes using a commercial type-2 16-amp AC charger.) Further electrical energy is captured through regenerative braking when the vehicle decelerates or brakes.
The first electrified Transit in Custom PHEV has gone on sale in the UK in the nameplate’s 55th year as top-selling van. Since gaining Plug-in Van Grant eligibility in the spring, more than 500 orders have so far been received for the hybrid. Ford’s continued electrification of its entire vehicle range includes existing mild-hybrid two-tonne Transit and Transit Custom powertrain choices, as well as the announcement of an all-electric Transit BEV.