Electric vans to trial in London

Ford have joined forces with London to help improve city air quality with a new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) van.

The multi-million pound project will launch in autumn, working with Transport for London (TfL) and the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Centre. The 12 month project will see Ford provide 20 PHEV Transit Custom vans to selected commercial fleets throughout London including TfL’s own fleet.

Jim Farley, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe said, ‘This new type of partnership demonstrates our evolution to both an auto and mobility company. We have lots of work to do, but everyone is so energised by this breakthrough opportunity.’

Development of the Transit Custom PHEV vans has been supported by a £4.7m grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre. Designed and engineered at Fords technical centre in Dunton and Prodrive Advanced Technology in Banbury, the vehicles will be able to charge via mains electricity for zero-emissions journeys and also feature a combustion engine for extended range on longer trips.

Commercial vehicles make roughly 280,000 journeys covering eight million miles in London alone on an average working day. Vans account for 75% of all peak freight traffic with over 7,000 vehicles on the road per hour in the city.

‘The freight sector’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles is central to cleaning up London’s toxic air,’ said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. ‘Transport for London continues to lead by example by increasing the number of its own vehicles that are electric and will find the data from these trials an invaluable resource for the LoCITY programme, which encourages the uptake of low emission commercial transport.’