The first wave of fleets participating in the Ford Transit plug-in hybrid van (PHEV) London trial, starting this autumn, have been confirmed.
The multi-million pound project is designed to explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, whilst boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions – the toughest working environment for commercial vehicles.
The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new Ford Transit PHEVs that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of inner-city trips. Equipped with range extenders, the fleet is not limited by battery range, making them capable of the longer journeys that may be required by businesses and ‘blue light’ services.
The participating fleets represent a cross-section of city-based businesses which will integrate the Ford Transit PHEV vans into their day-to-day operations. Using a Ford telematics system, each Transit PHEV will collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance to help understand how the benefits of electrified vehicles could be maximised.
The five fleets include the Metropolitan Police with two Transit PHEV vans: one marked for second response to traffic accidents and one un-marked as a forensic support unit. In addition, Transport for London will use three of the vans for freight duties.
Ford is the UK’s best-selling commercial vehicle brand, with over 50-years of CV leadership.
The Transit PHEV van is planned for commercial introduction in 2019, part of the automaker’s $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020 as it expands to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.