Ford tackles air pollution in London with new plug-in hybrid vans
Ford – in partnership with Transport for London – is launching a year-long trial of 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans.
Ford will trial 20 vehicles in a range of commercial fleets across London, including Transport for London’s own operations, beginning autumn 2017.
The project is financially supported by a £4.7 million grant from the Advanced Propulsion Centre, which is funded by the U.K. Government.
The vans, which operate predominately using an electric battery, are expected to have a New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) pure electric range of around 30 miles (50 kilometres).
Jim Farley, Chairman and CEO of Ford Europe, said: “This exciting project in London shows how innovative technology can help improve the prosperity and quality of life in our congested cities…Ford is the top selling commercial vehicle brand in Europe, so it’s fitting that this Transit plug-in hybrid is leading the electric vehicle revolution for business users.”
The trail fleet will use a Ford telematics system to collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance.
The fleet, which will operate in everyday use across a range pf city-based businesses, will help elucidate how the benefits of electric vehicles can be optimised.
It is hoped that electric and hybrid vehicles will contribute to cutting emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic air pollutants that have left London and other large cities in breach of European standards.
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “The freight sector’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles is central to cleaning up London’s toxic air… Transport for London continues to lead by example by increasing the number of its own vehicles that are electric and will find the data from these trials an invaluable resource for the LoCITY programme, which encourages the uptake of low emission commercial transport.”
Nick Hurd, Climate Change and Industry Minister, said: “The U.K. is a global leader in low emission motor technology. This new project, with nearly £5 million of government money, has secured work here in the U.K. and demonstrates our commitment to not only reducing carbon emissions, but to work with industry on developing next generation technology that will make a real difference to people’s lives.”
He went on to say: “This government will continue to work with the auto sector as we develop a comprehensive Industrial Strategy that will increase productivity, create high skilled jobs and ensure sustainable economic growth.”
The PHEV Transit Custom van is just one of 13 new electrified vehicles Ford is launching across the world within the next five years.
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