Ford Says Electric Transit Vans Are Coming for Real This Time
Eager to prove itself as a forward thinking mobility brand, Ford has advised us to prepare for the debut of the battery powered E-Transit van on November 12th. Following some heavy teasing from CEO Jim Farley during the company’s third-quarter earnings call a day earlier, Blue Oval issued an official announcement on Thursday to be ready for the commercial vehicle poised to change the way it does vans.
We’ve heard this before. There was supposed to be a battery electric Transit Connect, developed in partnership with Azure Dynamics, coming to market for the 2011 model year. While a prototype existed and was driven around by numerous outlets who praised it for being incredibly normal, the car ended up being prohibitively expensive to manufacture and kind of underwhelming to live with. Range was an abysmal 56 miles (according to the EPA) and the van was only just barely capable of maintaining highway speeds. In the end, Ford handed the project over to Azure — which nixed the passenger model and sold a few thousand commercial versions to various U.S. bureaucracies, coastal power companies, AT&T and the Canada Post for a little under $60,000 a pop.
Though, like the smaller Transit Connect Electric built by Azure a decade earlier, Ford is again angling the larger E-Transit at the commercial market. Automakers are eager to convince fleet managers that EVs can save them a bundle on fuel and maintenance fees while also trying to push their new software and telematics services. Previous announcements have indicated that the manufacturer would be offering the van in all of the most popular sizes and body styles — including cargo van, cutaway and chassis cab.
Assembly is supposed to commence at the Kansas City Assembly Plant with the first examples hitting the ground late in 2021. The E-Transit is assumed to launch as a 2022 model year vehicle and will have have access to the FordPass charging network.
[Image: Ford Motor Co.]
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I'm a small business owner who currently drives big Nissan NV2500 High Roof V8. It's an excellent van but I can't wait for something electric. There is NO way my costs to charge will be near the gargantuan amount I currently spend driving 30,000 miles a year, in the gas Nissan. With hope, the Ford Transit electric will be dependable and have a good range. I also can't wait to have a full "tank" every morning. Hurry up Ford.