Ford’s first electric vehicle in Australia is arriving later than expected.

The Ford E-Transit, first announced for the local market last October, was set to arrive in mid-2022.

Ford Australia now says the electric van will arrive from January 2023 – though that’ll still make it the company’s first all-electric vehicle Down Under.

The company has cited the semiconductor chip shortage as the reason for the delay, something which is hurting supply of all its European models – particularly the Transit.

MORE: Ford Fiesta ST and Focus ST axed from Australian line-up

The E-Transit is one of the five electrified vehicles Ford confirmed late last year it would be launching by 2024, and the company says the E-Transit has been chosen as its first EV due to its strong presence in the commercial vehicle market.

The quintet also includes the Escape PHEV launched this year, the E-Transit Custom due in 2024, and the Mustang Mach-E we also understand is coming here by that year.

The E-Transit will be available exclusively in rear-wheel drive 420L long-wheelbase configuration, with pricing yet to be announced.

It uses a 68kWh battery, good for a driving range of up to 317km on the stricter WLTP test cycle.

Ford says this range figure is more than 2.5 times the average distance a commercial van travels each day.

The E-Transit’s single electric motor produces 198kW of power and 430Nm of torque.

In contrast, the standard Transit pumps out 125kW and 390Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine.

The E-Transit supports both AC charging and DC fast-charging.

The 11.3kW on-board charger can deliver a 100 per cent charge in up to 8.2 hours using AC power, while the E-Transit can be charged at up to 115kW using a DC fast-charger.

That means the battery can be taken from 15 to 80 per cent in around 34 minutes.

While charging, you can use Scheduled Pre-Conditioning to ensure the temperature inside the van is to your liking when you take it off charge.

An Eco drive mode is said to provide an 8-10 per cent improvement in energy usage, limiting top speed, regulating acceleration and optimising climate control.

The E-Transit has a gross vehicle mass of up to 4.2 tonnes, with a targeted payload of 1616kg.

The location of the battery underneath the body, as well as the use of a heavy-duty semi-trailing arm suspension, ensures cargo capacity is unchanged: 11.3m3 in mid-roof specification, 12.4m3 with the high roof.

Ford has previously confirmed it will sell the E-Transit through dealerships, with an initial network of 20 dealers set to get specialist EV workshop equipment to service the E-Transit. Ford plans to expand this network with time.

The company is collaborating with JET Charge to roll out charging infrastructure at its dealers.

The E-Transit will be covered by Ford’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, along with an eight-year, 160,000km warranty for the battery and high-voltage electric components.

In terms of a future value proposition, for either the vehicle or the battery itself, Ford Australia said late last year it’s investigating what it can offer.

“We’re looking at this pretty hard actually, certainly commercial customers have a need, it’s not just the vehicle,” said Ford Australia president Andrew Birkic.

“Services is also an important part, and how is that incorporated, so we need to have a holistic approach, the way that we do with customers and we’re certainly developing our point of view on that currently.”

The E-Transit will likely still be the first full-sized electric van on the Australian market. China’s LDV is also working on a Deliver 9 EV for us, though it’s touch-and-go as to whether it’ll beat the Transit here or not.

The electric versions of the Fiat Ducato, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Renault Master, among other large electric vans sold in Europe, aren’t sold here yet.

That said, Renault says it will launch the Master E-Tech EV here in 2024, and the next electric Sprinter is likewise due here “in or around 2024”.

Ford will also be one of the pioneers in the segment below, with the 2024 E-Transit Custom not set to have much in the way of competition bar the upcoming Mercedes-Benz eVito. Concrete launch timing has yet to be locked in for the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo.

MORE: Everything Ford Transit

William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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