Before starting volume production of the Ford Transit Custom PHEV, Ford is continuing to study how the low-emissions van can help keep city air clean, announcing today that it will take its existing Transit Custom PHEV trial in London, England and expand it to include the city of Valencia in Spain. Ford Smart Mobility is working with the local government on the trial, which aims to discover how the plug-in van could help urban areas meet carbon emissions targets and enhance productivity.
In contrast to Ford’s 12-month trial in London, which launched earlier this year and employs a fleet of 20 PHEV vans, its Valencia trial will focus on small and medium Ford Transit Custom PHEV fleets driven solely by electric power for a target range of 31 miles. Granted, each van is still equipped with a gasoline internal-combustion engine – Ford’s acclaimed 1.0L EcoBoost – to serve as a range-extender.
“At Ford, we are committed to tackling urban mobility challenges, moving people and delivering goods and services through innovation and technology,” says Ford Europe President and CEO Steven Armstrong. “As no two cities are alike, it is vital that we look at the mobility issue from a variety of perspectives. Our research in Valencia will help us gain a meaningful understanding of the benefits that small and medium fleets running primarily on electric power can bring.”
The forthcoming Ford Transit Custom PHEV is part of an electrification onslaught that will see the automaker spending $11 billion to introduce 40 new electrified vehicles by 2022, including 16 pure battery-electric vehicles. The list of confirmed future electrified vehicles includes hybrid versions of the F-150 pickup truck, Mustang pony car, and Escape, Explorer, and Bronco SUVs.