Ford E-Transit enters customer trials in USA

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Ford customers have taken delivery of E-Transit preproduction units for trials in the field. Through the Ford Pro pilot program, companies across the nation, including Penske Truck Leasing and National Grid, are testing the vans and will feed back learnings.

The participating companies will evaluate performance, identify the best route types, and explore charging solutions while connected to the Ford Pro ecosystem in certain applications. Ford Pro is the OEM’s products, services and distribution arm for commercial and government users, encompassing Ford Pro vehicles, Ford Pro Charging, Ford Pro Intelligence, Ford Pro Elite and Ford Pro FinSimple.

Ford Pro CEO Ted Cannis, “Our customers are telling us that they have ambitious sustainability goals to reduce their fleets’ carbon emissions through the integration of all-electric vehicles. E-Transit commercial vans and the supporting Ford Pro ecosystem, especially end-to-end charging, play a critical role in helping achieve those goals and transforming their business operations without disruption.”

Penske is to assess and validate E-Transit’s capabilities, driving experience and charging in specific applications, including in the rentals market through to small- and medium-size commercial business segments. It has deployed a van in the Reading, Pennsylvania, area, but longer term, the firm plans to have electric vans in operation throughout its network, including Southern California.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Ford Pro on the introduction and real-world testing of these new electric vehicles as the first truck rental and leasing company to do so. We expect to see strong utilization and interest from customers making final-mile deliveries, regional deliveries, and eventually consumer use for smaller household moves,” said Art Vallely, president of Penske Truck Leasing.

Global energy management company and operator of several utility conglomerates, National Grid, has taken delivery of a preproduction low-roof E-Transit cargo van that it will test on regular home meter-reading routes to ensure it can undertake the operations typically carried out by the company’s gas-powered vehicles.

“We are proud to be the first energy company in the Northeast to test out Ford’s electric van and collaborate with Ford Pro. Over the next decade, National Grid will be moving to a 100% electric fleet for our light-duty vehicles and working to replace medium- and heavy-duty vehicles with sustainable options. Last year, we began testing electric backhoes and this year, e-vans could bring us closer to our goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” commented Badar Khan, president of National Grid, USA.

Ford Pro will use feedback and data from the pilot program to validate real-world vehicle performance across a range of use cases, upfits, temperatures and driving environments to continue to refine products and develop additional training tools.

Furthermore, fleet users across a multitude of industries – from rental to delivery to service to maintenance to telecoms to utilities – will be able to experience the technology and learn how all-electric vehicles will enhance their operations.

E-Transit is scheduled to go into production later this year. Look out for the testing story in the upcoming November issue of ATTI.

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Rachel's career in journalism has seen her write for various titles at UKi Media & Events within automotive, tire and marine. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the groundbreaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of transportation.

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