Ford has commenced customer trials of its E-Transit ahead of the van’s official sales launch in spring 2022, according to The Energyst.
A total of ten E-Transit prototypes are currently being used across a variety of intensive real-world operating scenarios in the postal, municipal and utilities, last mile and grocery delivery sectors in the UK, Germany and Norway.
Among the trial partners are AWB waste disposal, Balfour Beatty, the City of Cologne municipal fleet, DHL Express in the UK, DPD, Norwegian Post, Ocado and Recover Nordic.
The trials fleet features a range of E-Transit variants including van, double-cab-in-van and chassis cab derivatives with gross vehicle masses from 3.5 to 4.25 tonnes, as well as a variety of specialised vehicle conversions.
It marks the latest phase in Ford’s development of the E-Transit, following a demanding testing programme at its proving grounds and engineering facilities.
Trials partners will operate the E-Transit prototypes over six- or 12-month periods.
The E-Transit customer trials programme follows an earlier successful initiative featuring the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, during which a cross-section of city-based customers covered more than 150,000 miles and found they could operate in zero-emission mode for 75 per cent of their mileage when in central London.
Dave Petts, market lead, urban electrified vans, Ford of Europe said: “We want to demonstrate that helping customers reduce their environmental impact can go hand-in-hand with improving their productivity.
“Real-world mileage in customer hands helps us to show the business benefits that E-Transit can deliver, as well as providing valuable feedback on usage patterns and charging behaviour so that we can refine the operating experience.
“We firmly believe in treating our customers like family, and this programme highlights the value we place on those close partnerships.”