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Ford unveils E-Transit: capable electric van starting under $45,000 but with limited range

Ford has unveiled the E-Transit: an electric version of its versatile Transit van popular with commercial customers.

It starts under $45,000 and offer some interesting connectivity features, but it has a limited range.

The E-Transit was one of the first all-electric vehicles announced by Ford when it put in place its electrification plan back in 2016.

While it has been in the works for a long time already, Ford is not planning to bring it production until 2022.

Nevertheless, the automaker is now ready to unveil the electric van. Ford summarized its new electric van in a press release today:

Ford, the world’s cargo van leader, introduces the 2022 E-Transit van, a smart workhorse that will offer customers enhanced productivity enabled by its fully electric powertrain, software solutions, services, and Pro Power Onboard options.

Jim Farley, Ford president and CEO, commented on the launch of the E-Transit:

Ford is North America and Europe’s commercial truck and van leader, so the transition of fleet vehicles to zero emissions, especially for the fast-growing last-mile delivery segment, is critical to achieve our carbon neutrality goal by 2050. Ford is ready to lead the charge, starting with the all-electric Transit and all-electric F-150 on the way. This is good for the planet and a huge advantage for customers to help lower their operating costs and provide connected fleet management technologies that will help their businesses.

This unveiling ahead of time is going to help companies interested in going electric to plan for the update of their fleet.

Ford E-Transit specs

Ford says that the E-Transit is equipped with a battery pack with a usable capacity of 67 kWh.

The company expects to achieve a range of 126 miles with that battery in an E-Transit configured with a low-roof cargo.

Ford confirmed that the E-Transit is going to be available with “a choice of three roof heights and three body lengths, as well as in cargo, cutaway, and chassis cab versions.”

The different configurations offer different payload capacities between 3,240 and 3,800 lbs.

The battery pack feeds a 198 kW/266 HP electric motor.

When it comes to charging capacity, the E-Transit is going to be able to DC fast-charge at over 115 kW, The automaker believes that it adds “approximately 30 miles of range in 10 minutes and approximately 45 miles of range in 15 minutes.”

Ford is also emphasizing connectivity features with the E-Transit, which comes with a 4G modem as a standard feature:

  • Remote services like vehicle pre-conditioning — which optimizes cabin temperatures while E-Transit is plugged in to optimize battery efficiency — are also available, as well as charging reports that enable fleet managers to reimburse drivers who bring their vans home in the evening.
  • E-Transit also brings SYNC® 4 communications and entertainment technology9 to commercial vehicles, featuring a standard 12-inch touch screen that’s easy to use, plus enhanced voice recognition and cloud-enhanced navigation. With SYNC over-the-air updates, E-Transit software and SYNC features will stay at the forefront of performance

The E-Transit is also equipped Ford Co-Pilot360, the automaker’s suite of driver-assist and active safety features.

Here’s the Ford E-Transit electric van’s spec sheet:

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Electrek’s Take

Obviously, a big part of the story around the unveiling of the E-Transit is going to be the fact that the range is somewhat limited.

Ford is predicting between 108 and 126 miles of range depending on the configurations.

I agree that it is going to limit the usefulness of the vehicle and I would have liked to see a more expensive option with a longer range.

However, there are plenty of electric vans that cover less than 100 miles per day. Ford’s own telematics shows that the average van travels less than 74 miles per day.

If the range is sufficient for them, companies are going to do the math and realize that they can save money with the E-Transit.

It comes with an eight-year, 100,000-mile electric vehicle component warranty, and Ford predicts that it will cost 40% less than the average scheduled maintenance costs for a gas-powered 2020 Transit over those eight years.

When you add gas savings, there’s real money to be saved for fleet operators.

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