+Ford Europe are launching a multi-million pound project designed to help improve air quality in London as part of a global electrified vehicle push.
The project, supported by +Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans.
Commercial vehicles cover 8 million miles in London on a typical weekday and Ford's PHEV Transit Custom van reduces local emissions by running solely on electric power for most city trips. It is among 13 new global electrified vehicles Ford plans to introduce in the next five years.
The project, supported by a £4.7m grant from the U.K. Government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre, will provide the vans to a range of commercial fleets across London – including +Transport for London’s fleet. The purpose is to explore how they can contribute to cleaner air targets while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.
Jim Farley, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.
“Ford is the number one commercial vehicle brand in Europe and it’s now going electric. Teaming up with our London partners, we will also be able to trial software and telematics with enormous potential to reduce emissions and costs in the city. This new type of partnership demonstrates our evolution to both an auto and mobility company. We have lots of work to do but the everyone is so energised by this breakthrough opportunity.”
Scheduled to launch in the autumn, the trial is part of Ford's commitment to work with major cities around the world to tackle their local transport challenges, and help people and goods move more easily.
+Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.
“The freight sector’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles is central to cleaning up London’s toxic air. 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 programme, which encourages the uptake of low emission commercial transport.”The vans can be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, with an efficient engine for longer trips; and our telematics system will collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance.
Nick Hurd, Climate Change and Industry Minister.
“The U.K. is a global leader in low emission motor technology. This new project, with nearly £5 million of government money, has secured work here in the U.K. and demonstrates our commitment to not only reducing carbon emissions, but to work with industry on developing next generation technology that will make a real difference to people’s lives. This government will continue to work with the auto sector as we develop a comprehensive Industrial Strategy that will increase productivity, create high skilled jobs and ensure sustainable economic growth.”
The Transit Custom PHEV van is part of Ford's $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020. Further electrified vehicles planned include a fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles, a high-volume autonomous hybrid vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing to debut in North America in 2021, and a hybrid version of the iconic Mustang sports car.
Ford also have a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers to create the highest-powered charging network for electric vehicles in Europe.