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Ford E-Transit Custom Has Launched - Electrifying A Bestseller

The Ford E-Transit Custom - the all-electric version of the UK’s best-selling medium van - has launched and is now available across the country. Auto Trader’s Tom Roberts reports.

Tom Roberts

Words by: Tom Roberts

Published on 4 June 2024 | 0 min read

The all-electric Ford E-Transit Custom is now available in the UK, and while it might feel like we’ve been waiting a while for an electric version, when you consider that the latest generation has been available for just shy of 18 months at time of writing the turnaround has been pretty quick. Following a successful launch to journalists in Germany, I’m pleased to be able to share the details of what this new electric medium van can offer.
With nearly 14,000 Ford Transit Customs registered year-to-date at time of writing, I’m looking forward to seeing how much of a share of the UK’s BEV registrations this new electric medium van will take. Nearly 6,000 electric vans have been registered at this point, but I can’t help feeling that an entry from Ford, especially an electric version of the popular Ford Transit Custom, will have a positive impact on that figure - if you consider that it offers up to 200+ miles of range, 1000kg+ payloads and 2-year unlimited distance service intervals. That all seems very usable and should address some of the concerns I hear highlighted by sole traders in particular about range anxiety and the overall practicality of electric vans.

Let’s Talk Powertrain

This article needs to start at the most appropriate point - with the range and powertrain. Every E-Transit Custom is fitted with a 64kWh battery offering a maximum driving range of up to 209 miles. Charging with an 11kW Ford Pro Home Charger takes about 6.7 hours, with 10-80% charging possible in about 39 minutes on a 125kW DC charger. Interestingly, it’s reported that in lab testing, a 10-minute charge added 50 miles of range, and I’d encourage more manufacturers to regularly share insights like this that help ground the stats in real-world figures while selling vehicles in the electric van marketplace.
You can choose from 100kW or 160kW (135PS or 217PS) power outputs, each offering 415Nm of torque. These outputs are blown away by the more powerful 210kW motor offered only on the E‑Transit Custom MS‑RT model, but for a business vehicle the two standard offerings are more than capable. The vehicle is also capable of towing up to 2,300kg - a class-leading ability and one that the Ford E-Transit Custom can claim as its own for the time being. As an aside, Transit Custom is also offered with a PHEV powertrain, similar to the one used in the Ford Kuga Plug-In Hybrid. It combines a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an 11.8kWh battery to offer a pure-electric driving range of up to 34 miles between charges.

Practicality And Style In Focus

There’s a reason that the Ford Transit Custom has continued to be a best-seller since its 2012 launch, and that’s because of the practicality it offers… that and the excellent cup holders in the cabin. Beverage holders aside, the E-Transit Custom can be chosen in L1 or L2 lengths and a range of body styles. They include:
- Panel van: The standard body style offers load volumes of up to 6.8m3 and payloads of up to 1011kg. - Double-cab-in-van: This style features a three-seat second row and fixed bulkhead. - Kombi: For those wanting more flexibility between cargo carrying ability and the use of up to eight passenger seats. - MultiCab: An interesting version that offers a two-seat second row, full-length cargo area and solid bulkhead. Trim levels feel very familiar with base level ‘Trend’ offering standard spec and functions, ‘Limited’ adding 16-inch alloy wheels, body-coloured aesthetics and loadspace trim, ‘Sport’ increasing the outside appearance with stripe decals, 17-inch alloy wheels and a more luxurious cab, and range-topping ‘MS-RT’ versions going full rally style with spoilers, skirts, diffuser and 19-inch alloy wheels. I can’t stress enough how incredible the MS-RT version looks in the flesh… I’m someone who loves vans anyway, but this particular version had my pulse pounding. In the cabin the technology continues to flow with every E-Transit Custom fitted with a 13‑inch landscape touchscreen angled towards the driver (unlike some competitors) with Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment installed. Alexa Built-in is also installed allowing drivers to do everything from making calls to ordering on Amazon right there in the cabin - I always find Alexa easier to use than Google and far more responsive in the cabin environment. There are also over 30 separate modules on E-Transit Custom that can receive wireless software updates, most of which can be completed in under two minutes or schedule stacked - which is very convenient.

Final Thoughts

With the first E-Transit Custom models set to reach dealerships in selected markets later this summer, followed by all markets in the EU in 2025, I think it’s worth reflecting on what the Ford E-Transit Custom offers as its headlines. As I mentioned earlier in the article, it offers up to 200+ miles of range, 1000kg+ payloads and those 2-year unlimited distance service intervals. It’s all very usable and addresses some of the concerns I hear from sole traders about range anxiety and the practicality of electric vans.
But they’re not the only concerns. When it comes to sole traders, they’ve been slower to make the shift to electric vans because the pressure to make the switch until absolutely necessary is significantly less - especially if they’re two years into a five-year lease on a diesel van. If anyone reading this article wants to know what will change a sole trader’s mind about electric vans, and maybe spur them into switching earlier, here’s what I’ve gleaned. The misconception seems to be that range and payload are the big convincers, but through my conversations with van-driving business owners the common quote is as follows: “If you can prove to me that taking on an electric van will make a positive impact to my bottom line, I’d make the switch today.” As a member of the automotive industry, I see every single day how much work is done by manufacturers to convince consumers of the viability of electric vans, but positive bottom line impact keeps coming up and shows me that there’s a low-hanging cherry here just waiting to be picked. I circle back to conversations I’ve had with other van reviewers that familiarity with and the popularity of a well-loved diesel version of a vehicle makes its electric version more likely to find its audience - that’s where the Ford E-Transit Custom stands to make its mark.

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