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Ford announces all-electric Transit, maybe for Oz

Soonish: the new electric Transit is due to launch in America and Canada sometime in 2022 in a variety of body styles.

Ford’s electric Transit will offer almost unheard-of connectivity for fleet managers

6 Mar 2020

FORD has confirmed an all-electric version of its Transit van is in the pipeline, tipped to roll off the production line and be launched in America and Canada for the 2022 model year while question marks still hover over an Australian introduction.


When asked about any local interest in securing the electric van Down Under, Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy neither confirmed nor denied an interest in offering the van here and said the current focus was on the Escape PHEV.


“Transit, alongside Ranger, is an important part of our line-up,” he said.


“In terms of EVs, we’re looking forward to introducing the Escape PHEV in 2020, and we are currently focused on ensuring we deliver a seamless ownership experience for our first electrified model in Australia.”


Set to be produced in America, the electric Transit forms part of Ford’s more than $US11.5 billion ($A17.4 billion) investment in electrification through to 2022.


Very little information has been released by the American giant as yet with most of the details so far surrounding the van’s connectivity which will centre around an embedded FordPass Connect modem featuring a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices.


According to Ford Motor Company chief operating officer Jim Farley, the new electric Transit is “about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward”.


“The world is heading toward electrified products and fleet customers are asking for them now,” he said.


“We know their vehicles operate as a connected mobile business and their technology needs are different than retail customers.


“So Ford is thinking deeply on connectivity relationships that integrate with our in-vehicle high-speed electrical architectures and cloud-based data services to provide these businesses smart vehicles beyond just the electric powertrains.”


In addition to the FordPass Connect modem, fleet managers will be able to use Ford Data Services tools including GPS tracking, geofencing and vehicle diagnostics to see key performance indicators at a glance for vehicles and drivers.


As with the current Transit, the electric version will be available in multiple configurations including a cargo van, cutaway and cab chassis while three roof heights and three body lengths will be available.


While the official specs are yet to be released, Ford has at least revealed the electric Transit will feature a wealth of active safety equipment as standard, including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, post-collision braking, lane-keeping system and automatic high-beam headlights.


So far this year ending February, Ford has shifted 364 Transit Customs, an increase of 42.2 per cent compared to the same period last year, accounting for 9.2 per cent of the 2.5-3.5 tonne van segment.


The bigger Transit Heavy meanwhile has not enjoyed the same success, slipping 7.1 per cent with 158 sales, accounting for 7.9 per cent of the LD 3501-8000kg GVM segment.

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