Ford is set to launch a new, multi-million-dollar trial program in London, England this fall that will put 20 plug-in-hybrid Ford Transit Custom vans on the road in a variety of capacities.
The program is supported by local government body Transport for London, and a £4.7 million grant from the UK’s Advanced Propulsion Center. The 20 Transit Custom PHEVs will run for a trial period of 12 months, across a range of city-wide operations including deliveries and maintenance work, where Ford predicts they will use only electricity for a majority of trips. Ford telematics will provide valuable data regarding the vans’ “financial, operational, and environmental performance.”
“The freight sector’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles is central to cleaning up London’s toxic air,” says London Mayor Sadiq Khan. “Transport for London continues to lead by example by increasing the number of its own vehicles that are electric and will find the data from these trials an invaluable resource for the LoCITY program, which encourages the uptake of low-emission commercial transport.”
LoCITY bills itself as a “structured collaborative” program that aims to pave the way for more low-emission commercial vehicles in London by improving EV infrastructure and encouraging public and private fleets to adopt more green vehicles.
Ford’s Transit Custom plug-in hybrid isn’t planned for commercial introduction until 2019.