Ford announced five fleets that will participate in the Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van pilot program in London, starting this fall. (Earlier post.) The pilot program is designed to explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.
The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month pilot of 20 new Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of inner-city trips. Equipped with range extenders, the fleet is not limited by battery range, making them capable of the longer journeys that may be required by businesses and police and emergency vehicle services.
The participating fleets represent a cross-section of city-based businesses that will integrate the vans into their day-to-day operations including the Metropolitan Police with two Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vans: one marked for second response to traffic accidents and one un-marked as a forensic support unit. In addition, Transport for London will use three of the vans for freight duties. The five confirmed fleets:
- Transport for London
- Metropolitan police
- Clancy Plant
- Addison Lee
- British Gas
Using a Ford telematics system, each electric plug-in hybrid van will collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance to help understand how the benefits of electric vehicles could be maximized.
Ford will launch the project this fall, working with Transport for London and supported by the UK Government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre. The multi-million dollar project is part of a $4.5-billion Ford investment along with the introduction of 13 new electrified vehicles globally in the next five years.
Ford is the UK’s best-selling commercial vehicle brand, with more than 50-years of CV leadership. The Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van is planned for commercial introduction in 2019.