The pandemic resulted in huge demand for delivery vans and there could be no better time to introduce electric vans.
Responding to the market call, Ford has announced that an electric version of its iconic van will be unveiled next month as the e-Transit, and first will be available in the US and Canada. The new all-electric Transit van, which is part of Ford's $11.5 billion (£9bn) investment in global electrification, will be made in the States with the rumors saying that the newly built EV factory in Michigan is where the production will be taking place.
What do we know about Ford e-Transit so far?
Ford has released a teaser video allowing us to have a little peek at the all-electric Transit van. This little preview shows the panel van, which seems to have retained the silhouette of the standard model but, looking at other electric versions of petrol and diesel vehicles, it will most likely feature blanked-off grille and bespoke lighting clusters.
Ford previously confirmed that the electric model will be available in the same body-styles as the diesel version and there will also be a choice of three body lengths and roof heights.
Not much has been said about the motor of the electric Transit but there are expectations that it will be similar to the one fitted in the recently revealed Mach-E electric SUV.
We now know that the new Transit will have improved connectivity with features helping with the fleet efficiency and waste reduction. 4G functionality will allow fleet managers to find out the van's location, monitor driving behaviour, access fault diagnosis data as well as impose virtual parameters. The commercial van will come with highly advanced driver assistance programmes as standard, including pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights and lane-keep assist.
When is the e-Transit coming to the UK?
It has not yet been confirmed when we'll be able to buy the fully electric Ford e-Transit in the UK but we should expect it to arrive in Europe in 2022, shortly after the upcoming plug-in hybrid Transit van.
Ford president, Jim Farley, said earlier this year: “Commercial vehicles are a critical component to our big bet on electrification. As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150 (...) This Ford Transit isn’t just about creating an electric drivetrain. It’s about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward.”
Ford is still to confirm pricing and specifications for the electric Transit.