Ford says that its new E-Transit has undergone a punishing test program, designed to recreate driving scenarios expected during a lifetime of rigorous use, ahead of it reaching customers in early 2022.
Over a 12-week period, the E-Transit carried out the equivalent to 10 years’ work, over 150,000 miles, with the vehicle tackling harsh winters in Michigan, USA, extreme temperature variations and altitude changes in Ford’s Environmental Test Chamber in Cologne, Germany, and the rough and uneven roads at Ford’s proving ground in Lommel, Belgium. Further E-Transit testing is being undertaken at the Dunton Technical Centre in the UK.
“We test all our vans in conditions above and beyond anything they are likely to face in the hands of customers,” commented Andrew Mottram, chief program engineer E-Transit, commercial vehicles, Ford of Europe. “The all-electric E-Transit is no different – by pushing it to the limit in our controlled test environments, we can be confident that it will reliably serve our customers as they switch to all-electric power for their businesses.”
At Ford’s Environmental Test Chamber, engineers made changes to the E-Transits all-electric powertrain and cabin while subjecting the vehicle to more than 40oC for two weeks by utilizing 4,000W bulbs in 28 spotlights. Alongside this, the van was put through a simulated 2,500m climb while carrying a full load at -35oC.
However, the testing did not stop there. At Ford’s Lommel proving ground the E-Transit carried out numerous test laps of a dedicated circuit strewn with bumps, potholes and cobbles to simulate rough country and back roads. Mud, salt baths and saltwater sprayers were all utilized to simulate winter roads as part of the vehicle’s powertrain, battery pack and suspension durability testing, alongside proving the corrosion resistance of the E-transit’s components and body. Further verification of the electric motor durability was achieved by running it continuously for 125 days.
Ford is planning to carry out further customer trials later this year in the supermarket, utility and last-mile delivery industries, with the aim of improving customer experience.
The E-Transit project makes up part of Ford’s US$30bn investment in electrified vehicles by 2025.