Ford Reveals Transit Custom Range-Extended PHEV

SEP 19 2018 BY MARK KANE 21

Ford Transit Custom PHEV – a series hybrid with a 14 kWh battery

Ford presents its first approach to electrification of commercial vehicles in Europe in the form of the 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV, scheduled for market launch in 2019.

This new model is interesting because we don’t see too many series-hybrid configurations. It can go up to 50 km  (31 miles) with up to 1,000 kg of cargo, using a 14 kWh battery and then continue with power from its 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extender. The EV mode can be also postponed for use at a later time (like driving insideof  the city).

Ford introduces an unheard of location for the charging inlet too. It’s in the bumper.

The brief specifications of the Ford Transit Custom PHEV are:

  • up to 50 km (31 miles) of all-electric range
  • charging in 3 hours (240 V, 32 A)
  • series-hybrid driveline configuration with 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extender
  • total range of more than 500 kilometres (310 miles)
  •  14 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the load floor
  • full cargo volume offered by the standard van
  • over 1,000 kg of payload
2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV
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2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV 2018 Ford Transit Custom PHEV

Press blast

Ford Transit Custom Extends Leadership with Unique PHEV Model and Upgraded Features; Transit Connect Sport Debuts

  • Ford reveals production version of new Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for the first time, at IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, Germany
  • Advanced PHEV powertrain targets 50 km (31 mile) zero-emissions range, or 500 km (310 mile) total range using award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine as a range extender
  • First PHEV in segment delivers high productivity with no range anxiety; retains load volume and 1-tonne payload capability of diesel-powered van
  • Enhanced Transit Custom range announced with upgraded 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel with more powerful 185 PS variant, and segment-first mild hybrid powertrain option
  • Hannover CV Show also marks debut for dynamic new Transit Connect Sport Van with exterior styling kit, signature bonnet stripes and Dark Stainless alloy wheels

Hannover, Germany, Sept. 18, 2018 – Ford’s Transit Custom strengthens its position as Europe’s leading one-tonne van with the public debut of the new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, shown for the first time in production form at the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hannover, Germany.

The Transit Custom PHEV features an advanced hybrid powertrain system that targets a zero-emission driving range of 50 kilometres (31 miles), and uses the multi-award-winning Ford 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extender for total range exceeding 500 kilometres (310 miles). *

Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market. The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the vehicle to enter low-emissions zones. The PHEV model will enter volume production in the second half of 2019.

“The Transit Custom PHEV re-writes the rule book for a general purpose 1-tonne van, providing a versatile performer with zero-emission capability,” said Ian Porter, chief programme engineer, Transit Custom, Ford of Europe. “Transit Custom PHEV demands no compromises, offering the same load capacity as a diesel van, and the freedom to complete long-distance journeys without the need to stop for a charge.”

Ford also announced major enhancements to the Transit Custom line-up, including an upgraded 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel with more powerful 185 PS variant, a segment-first diesel mild hybrid powertrain option, and advanced new connectivity and driver assistance features.

Zero emissions. Zero range anxiety

The Transit Custom PHEV provides operators with outstanding fuel and energy efficiency, and outstanding flexibility. The advanced hybrid-electric powertrain system is perfectly suited to scenarios from multi-stop delivery schedules to longer commutes between construction sites.

The vehicle uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, the front wheels being driven exclusively by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine. Power for the motor is provided by a compact 14 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack located under the load floor, which has been carefully positioned to preserve the full cargo volume offered by the standard Transit Custom van, and a payload exceeding 1,000 kg. Ford’s compact and fuel-efficient 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine generates additional charge for the batteries when required.

Three selectable EV modes enable the driver to choose how and when to use the available battery charge:

  • EV Auto – default setting determines how to use the energy sources
  • EV Now – uses only electric power until the battery is depleted
  • EV Later – system aims to maintain current level of battery charge

Using the charge port located within the front bumper, the Transit Custom PHEV can be charged using a domestic 240 volt 10 amp power supply, achieving full charge in five hours, or a commercial 240 volt 16 amp or 32 amp supply, which can bring the pack to full charge in three hours.

The FordPass Connect on-board modem technology is a standard feature, allowing fleet operators to improve vehicle utilisation and optimise running costs, and enabling a range of features to be accessed via the FordPass mobile app to make the vehicle ownership and operating experience easier and more productive.

Within the cabin, a power/charge gauge replaces the standard rev counter, and a smaller gauge for battery state of charge replaces the engine coolant temperature indicator. Trip computer functions are configured specifically for the PHEV powertrain, and EV mode indicators, maintenance alerts, and a warning when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point, appear on the instrument display cluster. A status line showing distance to empty for both the battery and range extender is visible on all screen displays.

The spacious and practical new Transit Custom interior provides class-leading stowage and all-new displays and control panels designed for enhanced ergonomics and ease of use. Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system is available for high-series models, featuring an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures.

The Transit Custom PHEV will be offered in a range of high-specification series, and offering driver assistance technologies including Active Park Assist and Lane-Keeping Aid supported by standard electric power-assisted steering that is optimised for city driving and easy manoeuvring in busy commercial environments.

Tested in the real world

Ford Transit Custom PHEV prototypes are undergoing a 12-month fleet trial with real-world customers in London, covering in excess of 50,000 km (31,000 miles) to date, and Ford recently announced further trials will begin in Valencia, Spain. The vans – equipped with telematics systems – gather data on operational and environmental performance, including charging patterns, journey patterns and real electric-only range, while in use by commercial fleets including delivery and construction companies, utilities and services such as the police.

The data collected is helping Ford to better understand how to optimise the benefits of the hybrid powertrain and explore how lower-emission plug-in hybrid electric vans could support cleaner air targets, while boosting productivity for operators in urban conditions.

The new Transit Custom PHEV van is a key component of Ford’s global electrification commitment, with an investment of $11 billion to create a portfolio of 40 electrified vehicles globally, including 16 fully electric vehicles through 2022.

Transit Custom powertrain and connectivity upgrades

From mid-2019 the Transit Custom range benefits from a series of significant upgrades that are shared with the new 2-tonne Transit model that makes its debut in Hannover.

Designed to enhance performance and cost of ownership, the changes include an upgraded version of Ford’s 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine, further optimised for fuel efficiency and now available as a more powerful 185 PS variant. Transit Custom also offers a segment-first mild hybrid (mHEV) diesel powertrain option that delivers additional fuel efficiency improvements, with particular benefits in urban stop-start conditions.

The FordPass Connect on-board modem technology is introduced, and the Transit Custom can also be specified with an enhanced suite of advanced driver assistance technologies including Active Park Assist, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Aid and Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Tow.

Sporty new flagship for Transit Connect

The stylish new Transit Connect Sport is also revealed for the first time at Hannover, packing a visual punch with an exterior styling kit, signature matt black sports stripes with silver or orange accents, and 16-inch Dark Stainless alloy wheels. The exclusive Transit Connect Sport van expands the line-up of Ford’s popular Sport vans, joining the Fiesta Van, Transit Courier and Transit Custom Sport models.

The generous standard specification includes a cabin enhanced with partial leather trim, a Ford Power starter button, Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control, Cruise Control with Automatic Speed Limiter, and static cornering fog lights.

The new Transit Connect range went on sale earlier in 2018 with upgraded fuel efficient petrol and diesel engines and an available advanced eight-speed automatic transmission.

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21 Comments on "Ford Reveals Transit Custom Range-Extended PHEV"

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I am SO hoping this drivetrain makes it stateside and itching to see it get put into the upcoming Escape PHEV. This is the ideal PHEV drivetrain I’ve been clamoring for and I think GM got right with the Volt. Series hybrid with a liquid cooled battery with half decent range (in a smaller car with no expectations of major hauling capacity like the Transit, that 14kwh should give more than the Transit’s rated 31 mile AER easily).

The beauty of government regulations, they advance the technology and improve Ford sales. Irony.
Aside from reducing the congestion pollution in cities, lowering health care costs for everyone. And probably increasing IQ.

I drive a Transit, and that is thirsty vehicles. Expect twice the energy need as a modern normal car (used in Europe).
I could still use it (this new PHEV) in EV more 60% of the time. A 80km real world range would cover probably 97% of all trips.

It is stateside it’s called the entering lineup which they are discontinuing after 2020

Think the 31 mile AER is when it is fully loaded. My guess is the empty range is similar to the Volt as weight and battery capacity are about the same.

I wonder if a 1 liter ICE produce enough electricity to power this van? The VIA serial electric pickup uses a 150 kw traction motor and a 100 kw generator powered by a 4.3 liter GM V6. I believe this ICE produces 212 kw of power so it can comfortably produce the torque necessary to drive the generator. I’d love to see the specs on the range extender used In the Transit.

Exactly! Curious if this will be the same PHEV drivetrain that’s going in the upcoming Escape PHEV and Aviator PHEV. Guess we’ll just have to wait & see, LA Autoshow is due up soon!

Why do people keep calling the Volt a series hybrid? It’s not. It’s a mixed design, that rarely (if ever?) operates in pure series mode.

“Mixed design” = hybrid.

Yeah, I had to restrain myself from calling it a hybrid hybrid design 😉

It’s less bizarre than the rear bumper charge ports in the MB PHEVs.

For some odd reason Ford just doesn’t get it, electric means electric….no gas engine.

I think it’s you that doesn’t “get it”.

Stick a massive battery in for a couple of hundred miles of range and it becomes twice the price, carries half the weight (3,500kg MAM) and gives little actual real world benefit.

No point jumping into the pool before it’s been filled.

Ford just keeps putting their pinky in the pool the pulling back saying to cold….time to dive in or get left behind!

Read the comment above yours again, then think.

Benefit depends a lot on use cases. If it goes beyond all-electric range of the PHEV more often than not, then a pure electric with a larger battery likely makes more sense.

Not in a vehicle that sells in part on it’s load capacity. There aren’t going to be many sold if it’s £10,000 more than the competition and only carries 500kg, rather than 1000kg.

This is one case where IEVs didn’t read the press release – although the press release’s wording is a bit confusing. IEVs calls the charging 240 v, 32 A – when it is 16. But may be plugged into a 16 or 32 ampere facility the same way I can stateside plug a table lamp into either a 15 or 20 ampere receptacle. But this REAL LIFE vehicle is more like what VW should have done. That 1000 cc 3 cylinder engine is dinky and can be shoe-horned in anywhere, and the small battery (11 kwh effective capacity, apparently) wont increase the cost of the vehicle much – and I’d assume uses FORD’s ENERGI cheapie heating/cooling system – that of blowing passenger compartment air past the battery to keep it semi warm or semi cool, as well as putting in cheap ‘heating pad’ strips under the battery for the coldest winter days. Seems like VW has been coming out with future vehicles for the better part of a decade, meanwhile FORD already had come out with the BEV transit connect ev – discontinued due to poor sales (and a poorly integrated drive train with dinky battery and charging), but this… Read more »

Good luck driving that when the battery runs out. A 1.0 ecoboost pushing a van that size with a 2200lb payload? Granted there is a 2.0 diesel option, but if you don’t have that this thing won’t get out of it’s own way.

if the engine can charge the battery, and they make it smart enough to kick in it well in advance before the battery reaches too low, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Ford has experience with their Energi models and has started doing modern car architectures with Mild-Hybrids in mind like the C2 platform.

Just an FYI ! 🙂

The ICE does not drive the wheels it’s purely a generator one that will generate up to 80KW so plenty when you consider Renault make do with a 57KW electric motor on their master z.e van

Yes, I drive an Energi (Fusion) so I am familiar. I also know that the i3 REX with its .65L engine goes into limp mode when the battery is empty. That is a small car compared to this larger van with 2200lbs load capacity and a 1.0L engine. If it is as you conjecture where it kicks in early, with only 31 miles range, it’s going to be running that engine a lot. Either that or it will be limping like a i3.