Ford reveals first fleets for plug-in hybrid pilot

As part of its planned roll out of hybrid Transit vans, Ford has announced the first five fleet operators to trial the Transit plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in London from this autumn.

They are: Transport for London; Metropolitan police; Clancy Plant; Addison Lee; and British Gas.

Details of the Ford trial were revealed at the CV Show today when industry commentator Quentin Willson hosted a discussion with director of the Urban Electrified Van programme Mark Harvey and the Test & Development manager for the Met Police, Peter Collins.

The Ford project is supported by TfL and involves a 12 month trial of 20 new Ford Transit PHEVs that are designed to reduce local emissions through running purely on electric power for their inner city trips. The Transits have petrol engine ‘range extenders’ that deal with issues around range. For the Met this means that they can have a longer range for emergencies and for businesses they can do longer trips than the 250 mile typical distance an EV is limited to.

Ford will use a telematics system to collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance to help understand how the benefits of electrified vehicles could be maximised.

The five fleets include the Metropolitan Police with two Transit Custom PHEV vans: one marked for second response to traffic accidents and one un-marked as a forensic support unit. In addition, Transport for London will use three of the vans for freight duties.

The Transit Custom PHEV van is planned for commercial introduction in 2019, part of the manufacturer’s $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020 as it expands to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.  
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