What is the Ford e-Transit?
The Ford e-Transit is an all-electric version of the motoring icon. It is a large panel van, with good range, good charging and some great tech inside.
What does the Ford Transit look like?
To the untrained eye, the E-Transit is indistinguishable to the Diesel version. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice a slightly different grille and some flashes of colour to signal it’s an EV. Otherwise, it looks pretty much the same.
What is the Ford e-Transit like to drive?
The all-electric version is incredibly comfortable to drive in comparison to regular Diesel vans. The electric motor has no gears, so it’s just the accelerator and the brake pedal. It is also much more quiet so you don’t get any engine noise or vibrations. You also don’t get that bit of lurching as you move up the gears when accelerating.
The van is also quite powerful, and will easily haul around heavy loads. Thanks to the instant torque, you never find yourself struggling to get into the power band. It’s an experience that you have to have to believe!
In terms of power, there’s no shortage at all! There is a 135kW version which turns out 184hp and 430Nm. Or you can upgrade to the 198kW version that turns out a whopping 269hp and 430Nm torque. So even fully laden, the E-Transit has plenty to get you around.
The independent rear suspension is a fantastic addition. It will help with load-balancing, but it also makes it so much more comfortable to drive around.
Battery and range
The Ford E-Transit vans have a 68kWh battery, which gives a WLTP range of 314km. But as we all know, the WLTP cycle can be a little bit optimistic. In our week of driving we were averaging a return of just under 300km range.
We would say that a range of around 240-270km would be fairly dependable most of the year in Ireland. On a cold winter’s motorway trip, it might drop to around 200km. Obviously this won’t work for every business, but for many it is more than enough to get around each day.
On AC, you get up to 11.3kW, which is a good showing by Ford. So even if you’re charging at home on single-phase electricity, you’ll get from 0% to 100% overnight.
On faster DC charging, the Ford goes up to 115kW, so that means you’ll get a 10-80% top up in about 35 minutes.
One of the great features of the e-Transit is the Vehicle-to-Load functionality. This will be an amazing addition for a tradesperson. In essence, the van has 3-pin sockets that you can plug into to draw power from the main battery. It’s at full voltage, so you can use power tools, electric lawnmowers and other equipment you might need!
And you don’t have to worry about the battery as you can set the van up to only allow you to use a certain amount. So you’ll always have enough range to get home. Just a note that you have to option this as it doesn’t come as standard.
We have to tip our cap to Ford in how they set up the suspension. It’s an independent rear suspension that has been enhanced to cater for the extra weight of the battery. Most other electric vans have their payload downgraded due to the batteries. But the Ford has battled this very well.
There is a good range of options available when choosing the E-Transit, including a chassis cab version. Depending on which option you go for, it has a maximum gross payload of 1,711kg, which is hugely impressive. There is also a good variance in cubic capacity, which goes up to 15.1 cubic metres.
Pricing is a bit of a sticky point. It costs extra up front for sure, and there have been issues with how the grant system works for electric vans. The smaller variant costs from €67,563. The larger 350L variant costs from €72,470. Make sure you talk to your local dealer about the grant incentives and how it would affect your purchase.
But you should consider the lifetime costs before you make a snap decision. Some of the benefits may well justify the initial price tag. Fuel and maintenance cost will be much lower. It is also much more comfortable to drive, and as such will be a much nicer place to work from for many people. There are also some significant environmental benefits. This could be a cost effective way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint, and build some good will with customers looking for companies to play their part.
We were hugely impressed with the Ford e-Transit in the week that we had it. We tried it out on all types of road surfaces, from housing estates to open motorway, and it coped really well.
It won’t suit every business’s needs, but for those that can make it work, the e-Transit must be considered as an option. It’s great to drive, charges well, has some great tech inside and cuts down on running costs massively. Well done Ford!
If you have a van, don’t forget to get a quote from us here. You don’t even have to wait until your renewal is up as we might beat the price by enough to change your policy!