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Ford Transit plug-in-hybrid van testing in U.K.

John Beltz Snyder

Electric delivery vans are becoming more prolific in Europe. Electric powertrains are especially suited to urban environs, as well as to the last-mile movement of goods. As European cities crack down on emissions, going so far as to ban certain vehicles in city centers, delivering with EVs is a smart solution. Ford isn't blind to the need, and is testing plug-in hybrid versions of its Transit van in the U.K.

The PHEV Ford Transit offers 31 miles of all-electric driving, and features a 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine as a range extender for a total driving range of 310 miles. The plug-in version of the Transit is scheduled for production beginning in 2019, and Ford is leading its launch with a 12-month pilot program deploying 20 of the vehicles to fleet customers in London later this year. Heathrow Airport, the Metropolitan Police, British Gas, Transport for London, and Autoglass are among the participating customers testing the PHEV Transits.

In addition to its electrified powertrain, the PHEV Transits are equipped with geofencing technology, which adjusts vehicle settings based on location. This can ensure that they switch to all-electric power in London's low-emissions zones.

These PHEV transits use lithium-ion batteries under the load floor, preserving the van's full cargo volume. In addition to providing more range, the PHEV vans offer a greater payload capacity than all-electric vehicles, according to Ford.

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