Ford's all-out electric reinvention gathers pace as it introduces the new E-Transit Courier - the crucial electric variant of its smallest van.
Arriving hot on the heels of the new Explorer SUV to join the mid-sized E-Transit Custom and full-sized E-Transit, the second-generation Courier will be built at Ford's Craiova plant in Romania alongside the Ford Puma crossover, with which it shares a platform.
Turkish joint-venture partner Ford Otosan has taken ownership of the Craiova plant and has invested £430 million in adapting the second production line, where the Ford Ecosport crossover used to be made, to build the small van.
Combustion variants – a 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel shared with the Puma – will arrive first, in the third quarter of 2023, followed by the EV around a year later. A passenger variant, badged Tourneo, will arrive later, complete with EV option and set to be Ford's cheapest dedicated passenger car in Europe following the imminent demise of the Ford Fiesta.
Full technical details of the EV will be revealed closer to launch, but Ford has confirmed it is powered by a 134bhp, 214lb ft motor on the front axle, can reach a top speed of 90mph and can charge at 100kW for a 10-80% top-up in less than 35 minutes.
The new baby Transit is "bigger in every dimension", according to design boss Amko Leenarts. It features a 2900-litre cargo bay (up 25%) and – in electric form – a 700kg payload (up 118kg over the outgoing diesel variant) and 750kg towing capacity. There is also a 44-litre frunk for stowing charging cables and other smaller items and an optional load-through bulkhead that allows the Courier to carry items up to 1.8m long.
Up front, there's a completely new dashboard modelled on the design used in Ford's latest passenger car line-up, with a 12.0in digital instrument cluster and a same-size central touchscreen running the latest version of the firm's Sync infotainment software.
There is also "a huge amount of optimised storage including space for tablets and pads, paperwork, and of course that important cup of coffee," Ford says.