FORD Australia has announced an electrification strategy that will give local customers the choice of at least five new EVs by the end of 2024, with the new Ford E-Transit to lead the charge when it debuts in mid-2022.
Ford Australia’s electrification roadmap will include many of the company’s already popular nameplates, while also introducing new models that will diversify and broaden its local vehicle range.
These will be made up largely of battery electric vehicles, while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) will also play a role, offering a vehicle to meet the lifestyle requirements of every Australian customer.
E-Transit is a no-compromise business partner that brings all the versatility of the global best-selling Transit and introduces the significant advantage of zero tailpipe emissions, all while taking on the toughest of tasks.
With a driving range of up to 317km, E-Transit means commercial customers can take care of business, while pocketing the savings from reduced fuel costs.
To ensure a smooth electrification rollout, Ford Australia is collaborating with JET Charge, a leading supplier of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, to ready its dealer network.
As part of a launch framework that includes extensive in-house training programmes, a select network of dealers with specialist EV workshop equipment and end-user maintenance routines in readiness for the first vehicles to arrive.
Ford will also install charging stations at its facilities in Campbellfield, the YouYangs Proving Ground, and at the company’s new logistics hub at Merrifield.
Recent research conducted by YouGov indicates that 58 per cent of businesses can see EVs becoming a part of their vehicle fleet in the future. 52 per cent of Australian consumers are likely to consider an electrified vehicle for their next vehicle purchase.
The full-size E-Transit will arrive in rear-wheel drive 420L long wheel-base configuration from mid-2022, after the Escape PHEV makes its debut as Ford’s first locally available plug-in hybrid variant.
With a usable battery capacity of 68kWh, E-Transit provides enough range to meet daily requirements, making it ideal for urban environments and fixed drive routes, but with sufficient additional capacity to account for variations in vehicle load and weather.
The vehicle’s electric motor has a peak output of 198kW and 430Nm, making it the most powerful Transit currently available in Australia. Its rear-wheel drive layout also ensures outstanding traction when the vehicle is heavily laden.
E-Transit’s drive modes are tailored to its electric powertrain. A special Eco Mode can provide between eight and 10 per cent improvement in energy usage if it’s driven unladen, or at highway speeds.
Eco Mode limits top speed, regulates acceleration and optimises climate control to help maximise the available driving range.
The vehicle also supports scheduled pre-conditioning, enabling the climate control system to be programmed to adjust the cabin to the preferred temperature while the vehicle is still on charge.
E-Transit features both AC charging and DC fast-charging. The vehicle’s 11.3kW on-board charger is capable of delivering a 100 per cent charge in up to 8.2 hours.
Charging with up to 115kW using a high-power DC fast-charger, E-Transit can top-up from 15 per cent to 80 per cent in around 34 minutes.
Ford engineers designed the driveline and rear suspension system to optimise cargo space, locating the battery underneath the body and creating a heavy-duty semi-trailing arm suspension system that enables better steering precision and confident handling.
This also allows for an uncompromised cargo capacity of up to 11.3 cubic metres in mid-roof specification and 12.4 cubic metres for the high roof version, both of which are identical to the Transit 350L RWD diesel equivalents.
Gross vehicle mass of up to 4.2 tonnes is offered, with a targeted payload of 1,616kg.
Customers will also benefit from Ford’s 5-year unlimited kilometre service offering that sits alongside the eight-year, 160,000 km warranty package for the battery and high-voltage electric components.