Britain’s favorite electric truck

There’s a good chance you won’t hear the next delivery driver pull out. There are a number of electric trucks already for sale, but the arrival of the pure electric Ford Transit is certainly the biggest sign that commercial vehicles are keeping pace with private cars on the road so emissions are zero.

The Transit is one of the most popular sights on our country’s roads and one of Ford’s most successful cars – last year it was the best-selling car in the UK, in fact, it overtook cars including the Vauxhall Corsa and the famous Puma crossover. .

The Tesla Model 3 is the second best-selling car in the UK for 2021

The Ford E-Transit is part of a massive shift to electrification by the American automaker and is the first of four battery-powered pickups it intends to launch by 2024.

Ford knows that not every truck driver will be able to convert the switch to electric, but many fleets large and small can comfortably handle the 196 miles that the E-Transit’s 68kWh battery can accommodate. With the number of public chargers increasing, the realistic range of powering electric trucks should also become easier.

At the same time, a new program called Ford Pro also offers a comprehensive financing, software, service and freight solution to make switching easier for individuals and businesses.

Exterior design and competitors

You’ll need to look closely to tell that this is a Ford E-Transit, as the exterior gives little importance that this is an all-electric truck. Three blue strips extend over the front grille, where the battery charging port is located. This placement is designed to make it a simple task to access public quick chargers, whether on a footpath or in a parking space, although it may not be ideal for all street chargers.

Other than those blue elements, which also emphasize the badge on the tailgate, Ford hasn’t tried to make the E-Transit look any different from its combustion-engined siblings. Durable plastic wraps around the front, back and along the wings to give it some extra protection from the ups and downs of everyday life.

You may not be the most famous person at the charging station if you have the longest three lengths of E-Transit; At a height of just over 6.7 meters, it’s not exactly small. The L2 and L3 measure 5.5 and 5.9 metres, respectively.

2022 Ford E Transit

There is also a choice of two heights, in addition to the traditional truck chassis, double cab or single chassis. Despite all this selection, the E-Transit isn’t lacking in electric truck competitors; The Fiat E-Ducato, Renault Master E-Tech and the Stellantis trio of Citroën e-Relay, Peugeot e-Boxer and Vauxhall Movano-e all compete with Ford.

Those likely to add company signage or livery will only need the standard frosted white paint. However, Ford offers Race Red and Blazer Blue along with Diffuse Silver, Magnetic, Moondust Silver, Chrome Blue and Onyx Black as metallic paint options, as well as a premium non-metallic gray paint job.

Interior and practicality

A slight step into the E-Transit booth won’t bother you much unless you’re doing it a dozen times a day, and some will. Besides, once you’re in the driver’s seat, which was electrically adjustable in the version we tried, there’s excellent visibility from the front, and the side mirrors provide a good view of what’s going on in the back.

It’s best for a ceiling-mounted reversing camera to give you a wide-angle view of the area you’re going back to. Ford also offers a digital rearview mirror on most models.

2022 Ford E Transit

For many truck drivers, interior design isn’t just about driving; Often doubles as a mobile office, E-Transit provides enough space to get paperwork done between jobs. A small work surface folds out from the center seat back for this, although it’s not what you’d call a desk, and there are better examples in other commercial vehicles.

Storage areas are scattered throughout the cabin, like a shelf across the roof and above the dashboard. The latter includes a USB-C charging port and one of two 12-volt ports in the cabin, although a designated place to keep a mobile phone or wireless charging pad would be a nice addition.

The E-Transit may be a new addition to the range but sitting inside it reminds you that this model is starting to show its age, as it was launched in 2013. Reworked instrument cluster dials show power usage and remaining battery and there’s also a TFT digital display with trip computer and push-button starter information .

Being electric means it has an automatic drive selector rather than a manual gearbox, with a choice of drive, reverse and park via a rotary console similar to those found in Ford passenger cars.

However, one thing we discovered is that the electric parking brake does not operate automatically as it does on some passenger cars when the ignition is turned off.

2022 Ford E Transit

The high backstage makes manually loading E-Transit a bit more work than some of its competitors. Combined with the wide selection of chassis styles available based on individual or fleet requirements, the L3H3 350 maximum payload we sampled is 955kg. This number will vary depending on the particular model.

technology and safety

Ford has done more than just put a big battery under the floor of a Transit. A great deal of work has gone into re-engineering a new independent rear suspension system that can handle the extra battery weight and usual cargo carry.

2022 Ford E Transit

Even more impressive is the 12-inch touchscreen display powered by Ford’s Sync 4 infotainment system, which includes cloud connectivity for over-the-air updates.

The FordPass Pro smartphone app enables remote viewing of information such as battery level or time remaining on charge.

The remote start function is equally useful as it allows users to heat (or cool) the cabin and raise the battery to its optimum operating temperature while still plugged in and charging. Not only does this mean no windshield defrosting on cold mornings, but since the heating system does not depend on heating a diesel engine, the truck delivers instant warm air through the cabin vents.

Several state-of-the-art assistance features are present in E-Transit as well, which will be good news for fleet operators keen to ensure their drivers (and trucks) stay safe.

All versions come with pre-collision assist and automatic emergency brake that can help mitigate the risk of rear-end collision with another vehicle.

Hill-start Assist makes it a snooze when going down an incline, and Lane Keep Assist makes it easier on the highway.

Ford offers more advanced options such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot information with trailer coverage, more advanced pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, a 360-degree camera and parking sensors. There may be a few option boxes worth ticking there.

One particularly useful function is what Ford calls Pro Power, a factory-fitted system for powering external devices via an E-Transit battery. With an output of up to 2.3 kW, it’s enough to power everything from chainsaws to work tool battery chargers to even the boiler when it’s spinning to spend time on site.

Ford has also thought about making sure people don’t fall into the trap of using this, so drivers can set a minimum driving range warning to ensure there’s always enough charge in the battery to get home at the end of the job.

Performance, power and acceleration

2022 Ford E Transit

The 68 kWh battery is the only one available in the Ford E-Transit, although there is a choice of two different electric motors, both driving the rear wheels.

The standard electric motor’s output is rated at 181 horsepower, while the more powerful engine produces 266 horsepower. Both generate 317 pound-feet of torque that arrives instantly, sending power to the rear wheels via a single-speed automatic transmission. The 181bhp version felt energized fast enough, even with a load on board.

The battery range will undoubtedly be something that most potential e-mobility buyers and drivers will want to know. While Ford claims the E-Transit will cover up to 196 miles on a single charge, that number depends on how you use it and what you’re carrying makes a big impact.

We loaded the truck weighing 400kg in the back, and two people on board were driving primarily in urban environments – which is kinder to the EV’s specific range than out-of-town and the highway – Ford was returning the equivalent of roughly 2.5 mph, That’s about 170 miles per charge.

Time lost during any business day has a cost, so shipping time is also a deciding factor. E-Transit can use DC fast charging at a maximum speed of 115 kW, recharging the battery from 15% to 80% in less than 34 minutes.

The onboard AC charger with a capacity of 11 kW is designed for additional charging during the night. A full charge from a vacuum using this would take approximately eight hours based on a 230V three-phase source, while a single-phase outlet would require 11.5 hours to do the same.

2022 Ford E Transit

Ride and handle

The new independent rear suspension is designed to ensure that the electric motor does not obstruct the loadspace. Ford claims this is the heaviest suspension of this type ever, and likely the heaviest ever built in the industry to date — with the possible exception of a military Humvee, says Andrew Mottram, Ford’s chief software engineer.

Any truck driver who has had to put up with an M25 start-up stop or busy city streets will instantly welcome the smoothness of their Ford electric powertrain. The automatic single-speed means that the E-Transit is extremely easy to drive and offers a much higher level of improvement compared to a diesel truck when you’re on the move. With close to electric motor noise and less vibration when operating, the big Ford is a comfortable thing to drive.

Loaded with 400kg, the E-Transit felt like a vehicle, settled on the road and refined it for a big pickup.

Pricing and sale date

Ford dealers have already taken more than five thousand E-Transit orders across Europe. UK fares will start from £45,550 excluding VAT. That’s significantly more than most diesel and hybrid equivalents, but cheaper than some electric competitors. Regardless, there are significant savings in operating costs to be made, from fuel to maintenance.

2022 Ford E Transit

Verdict: Ford E-Transit . Review

In the right scenario, the Ford E-Transit makes some sense and is a great option for companies keen to reduce their carbon footprint, but there are still a lot of limitations as to how it works in the real world. If your needs fall within these criteria, the pros far outweigh the cons.

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