Ford Transit Customs Will Get EV Versions in 2023

Ford Transit Customs Will Get EV Versions in 2023

03/17/2021

It’s been a couple of years since Ford and VW teamed up to produce vans and pickups in Europe with plans to share platforms, and now we know that this will include battery-electric models. Ford says it plans to add an EV version to its line of Transit Custom vans starting in the first half of 2023, which will be produced in Turkey. The automaker will also keep hybrid, mild hybrid, and conventional gas- and diesel-engine versions of the vans, as not all customers in the European Union and nearby markets will be ready for EVs yet.

The E-Transit we’ll see here will be a different model from the ones Ford and VW will produce. The US will get the current-generation battery-electric E-Transit later this year in a commercial-van format offering 126 miles of range, but the automakers’ plans for production in Turkey will include passenger-van models of a new design.

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Overall, Ford expects that two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales will be battery-electric or PHEV by 2030.

What’s especially interesting about the upcoming availability of EV powertrains in Ford vans is that this new EV drivetrain will also be offered in the Tourneo Custom passenger van, making it the first battery-electric passenger van in Ford’s global lineup.

“The next generation Transit Custom range—including the all-electric versions—will strengthen Ford’s position as Europe’s number one commercial vehicle brand,” said Stuart Rowley, president Ford of Europe. “Transit Custom is the jewel in our commercial vehicle crown and key in our drive to grow our commercial vehicle business as we continue to create a sustainable, profitable Ford business in Europe rooted in an electrified future.”

The development of EV powertrains for the Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom vans is also expected to deliver results for Volkswagen’s lineup, as the next-gen Transporter will share much of its hardware with the Ford models. This means we may see EV versions of the VW Transporter as well, even though it’s unlikely that they’ll be offered stateside. VW itself is also developing commercial van versions of the ID.Buzz, which will be aimed at a smaller commercial van segment than the larger Transit.

When it comes to the minivan landscape, there are only a handful of players in the segment these days (in contrast to the 1990s), and they all prize long-distance driving ability. This means we might not see battery-electric versions of minivans in the US for quite some time, even though hybrid power has been available in minivans for a while.

Should an automaker offer a battery-electric version of a minivan at some point in the next five years, or is this a segment that’s still dependent on extended road-trip flexibility? Let us know in the comments below.

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