New Ford E-Transit Custom electric van unveiled with 236-mile range
The fully electric version of the UK’s most popular vehicle will arrive in late 2023
This is the Ford E-Transit Custom: the new fully electric version of the UK’s best-selling vehicle, and the Blue Oval’s second zero-emissions commercial offering following the launch of the full-sized E-Transit early this year.
Ford’s mid-size electric van won’t go into production until Autumn 2023, but in the meantime the brand has revealed some new technical details, allowing us to see how it stacks up on paper against its rivals in this class like the Vauxhall Vivaro-e, Citroen e-Dispatch and Fiat E-Scudo.
Thanks to a 74kWh battery, aerodynamic aides and heat pump to help with efficiency, the E-Transit Custom boasts a range of 236 miles, compared to the Stellantis Group vans mentioned above which can cover just over 200 miles with a 75kWh battery. A full charge from 10% will take a little under 8 hours from an 11kW wallbox, while the van’s 125kW rapid charging capability means a 15-80% top up requires just 41 minutes.
Every E-Transit Custom comes with a single electric motor to power the rear wheels, but customers will get a choice of 134bhp and 215bhp power outputs. Both produce 415Nm of torque, and full one-pedal driving functionality is available to help maximise the range and make driving in town easier.
The van’s maximum payload capacity is 1.1 tonnes, with the Ford capable of towing up to two tonnes. The E-Transit Custom will also have towing capability and be offered with Ford’s ‘ProPower OnBoard' panel, which delivers up to 2.3kW from standard plug sockets in the cab and load area, to power tools, lights, laptops and conversions such as refrigeration units.
Inside, you’ll find a 13-inch central touchscreen running the latest Ford SYNC 4 infotainment system, while behind the wheel is a very similar digital driver’s display to the one in the Mustang Mach-E. Some of the van’s more unique features include a tilting steering wheel, which you either attach a laptop or clipboard to for working, or can swivel to an almost horizontal position and create a table.
The front wheels have also been pushed further out to the corners to minimise intrusion into the footwells, and the gear selector is now mounted on the steering column, creating more knee room for anyone in the middle seat.
Meanwhile, certain design elements have been incorporated following feedback from outgoing Transit Custom owners. For example, if you’re approaching the van while carrying heavy items, the one-metre wide side door can now be opened by waving a foot under the sill.
The Ford Pro software from the E-Transit will be carried over, too. Ford describes this as an “end-to-end” service that helps businesses manage their fleets, providing support for charging infrastructure and vehicle maintenance. Digital key cards can also be assigned to allow multiple employees to access a vehicle, and driving behaviours can be monitored through an online app.
Finally, the new E-Transit Custom can be distinguished from its diesel counterparts by a blanked front panel with its hexagonal design topped by a light bar that replaces the regular grille. There are also sharp LED headlights, a charging port integrated into the front bumper and X-shaped tail-lights. More bodystyles are in the works, though, including various roof heights, wheelbases and passenger layouts.
By 2024, Ford plans to have a range of five zero-emissions commercial vehicles, including the E-Transit, E-Transit Custom and compact E-Transit Courier, along with electric versions of the Tourneo Custom and Tourneo Courier people carriers.
"Everyone wins in the switch to EVs. We must hold our nerve on the 2030 ICE ban"
BMW i4 facelift to topple Tesla with huge range and tech upgrades
We’ve had a ride in the new electric MG Cyberster and it’s NOT what we first thought…