The world's best-selling cargo van is going electric.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is Ford's first-ever electric vehicle, but it certainly won't be the last. We already know an electric Ford F-150 is entering production in 2021 to rival the Tesla Cybertruck. And now Ford has announced its third electric model that will join the Mach-E and electric F-150: the Ford Transit, the world's best-selling cargo van, is going all-electric.
"Commercial vehicles are a critical component to our big bet on electrification," said Jim Farley, chief operating officer, Ford Motor Company. "As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150. This Ford Transit isn't just about creating an electric drivetrain, it's about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward."
Ford's US truck and van fleet sales have increased by 33 percent since 2015. Ford also delivered 59,930 vans in the US in Q4 2019, which was the best fourth quarter results since 1978, while the year's sales totaled 240,529 units, so it makes sense to launch an electric version of the Transit to maintain this sales momentum. Ford expects electric vehicles to grow to 8 percent of the industry in 2025 in the US.
The all-electric Transit will be built in the US as part of Ford's $11.5 billion investment in electrification and go on sale for the 2022 model year, so it could debut around the end of 2021. When it goes on sale, cargo van, cutaway and chassis cab versions of the electric Transit will be available with a choice of three roof heights and three body lengths.
A teaser image released by Ford shows the electric version will retain the combustion-powered version's iconic design, but there will still likely be some visual changes to distinguish it such as a faux grille since it won't have a combustion engine that requires cooling. Standard driver assists will include pre-collision with automatic emergency braking plus pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping system, and auto high-beam headlamps.
As well as eliminating trips to the gas station, the electric Ford Transit will offer advantages over its combustion sibling such as requiring less maintenance and lower operating costs. Electric vehicle fleets can also take advantage of federal, state and local electric vehicle tax incentives, and gain access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes and free parking.