Hybrid Transit Custom Van to Receive Additional Testing in Spain

Hybrid Transit Custom Van to Receive Additional Testing in Spain

Hybrid Transit Custom Van to Receive Additional Testing in Spain

While London in the UK has been used as the proving ground for the upcoming hybrid iteration of the Transit Custom, Ford has now announced that it will be rolling out extra test vehicles elsewhere in Europe.

The van combines a battery-powered electric motor with a petrol engine to allow it to cover longer distances without needing to be recharged. It has been put to work on urban streets in Britain, but it will now also be trialled in the Spanish city of Valencia.

Ford spokesperson Steven Armstrong explained that the goal was the same in both countries: to reduce harmful emissions and enhance air quality without compromising on productivity or limiting businesses with all-electric ranges.

Over the next five years the American automaker is planning to spend £8.1 billion in order to overhaul its line-up of LCVs and passenger cars alike, with hybrid models like this Transit Custom set to sit alongside zero-emissions equivalents.

The EcoBoost engine found on board this hybrid Transit is a relatively small 1.0 litre unit, meaning that it is both fuel-efficient and fairly clean-running, especially when set alongside standard diesel-powered models that make up most of the current range.

Armstrong said that it was important to trial this van in as many places as possible to assess how impactful it can be and whether it needs to be adapted to suit different markets.

The narrow, traffic-packed streets of London are obviously a challenging environment for any van, which is why the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid has been tested on them. Valencia will pose a similar set of obstacles to the van, but Ford will also be looking to see whether the charging infrastructure of the city is extensive enough to support this type of vehicle.

Compared with some other electric vans, the hybrid Transit Custom has a relatively limited range for battery-only operation. It can cover around 31 miles without relying on the petrol engine whatsoever, after which point it will need to switch to its emissions-generating power train until it can be plugged in to recharge.

In the context of city driving, 31 miles will likely be more than enough range to allow the van to reach its destination. So long as there is a charging point available, it can then be powered up and sent on its way, preserving the zero-emissions operating capabilities without having to use any petrol whatsoever.

Of course, the ongoing trial in London will establish the degree to which such a situation can realistically be achieved in day-to-day driving conditions. The scheme is running for a full year, and it has several months to go before it draws to a close and the results can be fully assessed.

The Transit Custom is one of the best-selling vans in the UK, and so it will be interesting to see how sales of the plug-in hybrid edition perform once it is released to the market next year.

Categories: Panel Vans Medium /

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