A new, all-electric version of the Ford Transit Custom will enter production in the first half of 2023, following the company’s pledge to offer an electric or plug-in hybrid variant of every vehicle in its commercial line-up by 2024.
The electric Transit - as well as the Tourneo Custom people mover - will be built in Turkey alongside the next-generation Volkswagen Transporter: the two vans will essentially be siblings, with an agreement between the two manufacturers designed to boost profits by improving economies of scale.
A total of €2 billion (£1.72bn) has been invested in Ford Otosan’s facilities in Kocaeli, Turkey, to increase vehicle production and battery pack assembly, with 3000 new jobs set to be introduced.
Mild-hybrid and conventional, combustion-engined versions of the Transit will continue to be offered, with diesel engines set to be supplied by Ford’s factory in Dagenham.
“The next-generation Transit Custom range – including the all-electric versions – will strengthen Ford’s position as Europe’s number-one commercial vehicle brand,” said Ford of Europe’s president, Stuart Rowley. “Transit Custom is the jewel in our commercial vehicle crown and key in our drive to grow our commercial vehicle business as we continue to create a sustainable, profitable Ford business in Europe rooted in an electrified future.”
Ford says 2020 was its sixth consecutive year as the best-selling commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe, with the trend set to continue in 2021. However, the company is wary of the need to maintain steady growth to sustain its profitability in Europe.
It expects that two-thirds of its commercial sales will come from electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2030. Ford has also made moves into the connected services sector, with its FordPass Pro and Ford Fleet Management systems designed to help fleet customers maximise productivity by keeping their vehicles on the road.