Ford is launching a multi-million-pound project designed to help improve air quality in London, as the automaker accelerates its electrification plans with 13 new global electrified vehicles scheduled for introduction in the next five years.
The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new plug-in hybrids (PHEV) Transit Custom vans that reduce local emissions by running solely on electric power for the majority of city trips such as deliveries or maintenance work.
Commercial vehicles in London make 280,000 journeys on a typical weekday, travelling a total distance of 8 million miles. Vans represent 75 per cent of peak freight traffic, with over 7,000 vehicles per hour driving at peak times in Central London alone.
Ford will provide 20 PHEV Transits to a range of commercial fleets across London, including Transport for London’s fleet, to explore how such vans can contribute to cleaner air targets while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions – the toughest working environment for vehicles. The project is supported financially by the U.K. Government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre.
“This exciting project in London shows how innovative technology can help improve the prosperity and quality of life in our congested cities,” said Jim Farley, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. “Ford is the top-selling commercial vehicle brand in Europe, so it’s fitting that this Transit plug-in hybrid is leading the electric vehicle revolution for business users.”
Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive – plus more fuel efficient. Scheduled to launch in autumn this year, the fleet 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.