The Ford E-Transit Custom electric van will be sold in Australia, the company announced today, but won’t be available to suburban delivery drivers and eco-friendly tradies until 2024.
Ford already makes a petrol-electric Transit Custom plug-in hybrid (PHEV), sold in markets such as the UK and New Zealand, but not Australia where demand is proportionately lower.
The E-Transit Custom is designed to set “a new benchmark” in the one-tonne van segment and “help businesses to effortlessly make the change to electrified vehicles”, the company says.
“The E-Transit Custom is exactly the kind of versatile, practical van business customers are looking for, with the benefit of zero-emissions efficiency,” added Ford Australia president and CEO Andrew Birkic.
“We are focused on deeply understanding the needs of commercial vehicle customers and bringing them the best of our global line-up.”
If that latter quote is true, let’s also get that F-150 Lightning here, Mr Birkic!
Specific details on the E-Transit Custom’s battery charging and range were not mentioned in the press release.
Update: Ford says the target is a 380km range.
The company did promise “intelligent software and connectivity tools” to maximise uptime (some version of its Ford Pro business productivity support ecosystem no doubt).
It’s also promised “compelling range, full towing capability and DC fast charging… to ensure a seamless customer experience”.
While the side profile is familiar, there’s a bold new grille design with full LED lighting to set it apart.
All Transit Custom variants will be built by Ford Otosan – a joint venture in Turkey – at the Kocaeli site.
The all-electric E-Transit Custom will enter production in the second half of 2023, with further product details to be revealed in September this year.
For context, the bigger e-Transit (not to be confused with the E-Transit Custom discussed here) uses a 68kWh battery, good for a driving range of up to 317km on the stricter WLTP test cycle.
We’d expect the E-Transit Custom’s range to be longer, since it’s lighter and more aerodynamic.
The larger E-Transit’s single electric motor produces 198kW of power and 430Nm of torque. By contrast, the standard Transit pumps out 125kW and 390Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine.
The full-size E-Transit’s 11.3kW on-board charger can deliver a 100 per cent charge in up to 8.2 hours using AC power.
It can also be charged at up to 115kW using a DC fast-charger, meaning the battery can be taken from 15 to 80 per cent in around 34 minutes.
Booming online retail and subsequent deliveries helped drive record sales of mid-sized vans in Australia – the bread-and-butter part of the market home to top-sellers like the Toyota HiAce.
VFACTS sales data shows that the 2.5-tonne to 3.5-tonne GVM (that means the maximum allowable weight of the van and its load) van market accounted for 25,983 sales in 2021.
That’s the record for this segment since it was created in 2010.
The electric van segment is largely non-existent in Australia, aside from the smaller and niche Renault Kangoo and BYD T3 EVs. But this will change.
Mercedes-Benz Vans Australia is rolling out its first three electric vehicles in 2022, with a fourth coming in 2024.
The Transit Custom-sized eVito panel van, eVito Tourer and EQV will arrive in the second half of 2022, with the bigger eSprinter “intended to follow in or around 2024” when the next-generation model becomes available.