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Ford Transit plug-in hybrid van (PHEV)

Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid

PHEV at the Low Carbon Vehicle Show

Ford’s new plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Transit Custom van, designed to help improve local air quality by running solely on electric power for the majority of city journeys, has made its dynamic debut at the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle 2017 event in Millbrook, UK.

The vehicle made its first appearance as Ford prepares 20 PHEV Transit vans for the 12-month fleet customer trial in London, which explores how the hybrid electric vans can contribute to cleaner air targets and enhanced productivity in city use – the toughest working environment for vehicles.

Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Scheduled for volume production in 2019 as part of Ford’s global promise to provide customers with affordable and capable electric vehicles, the Transit Custom PHEV has an advanced hybrid system that targets a zero-emission range of 31 miles, and features the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine as a range extender. The EcoBoost engine charges the on-board batteries when longer trips are required between charging stops, providing operators with outstanding efficiency and flexibility.

In addition, the vehicles will feature geofencing technology, which is capable of automatically modifying vehicle settings based on each van’s current location. This could be used, for example, to ensure the hybrid system is switched to electric-only mode when a vehicle enters a low-emission zone within an inner-city area.

Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market. The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while the compact and fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine generates additional charge for the batteries when required. The Transit Custom PHEV uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, with the vehicle’s wheels driven exclusively by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine.

The battery pack is a compact liquid-cooled lithium-ion design located under the load floor, preserving the full cargo volume offered by the standard Transit Custom van.

The PHEV approach provides city-based commercial vehicle operators with a range of benefits. In addition to the zero-emission capability of a targeted 31 miles, the Transit Custom PHEV uses petrol fuel for a target total range of more than 310 miles (500 kilometres) to eliminate range anxiety. The PHEV also has an increased payload capacity compared with battery-only electric vehicles, and the ability to offer quick and easy recharging from a standard electricity supply.

Ford Transit plug-in hybrid van (PHEV)

Transit PHEV Trial

The London fleet trial project is supported by Transport for London, and features a cross-section of city-based businesses,* including Metropolitan Police, British Gas and Clancy Plant, that will integrate the vans into their day-to-day operations. To help understand how the benefits of electrified vehicles could be maximised, the 20 PHEV Transits will use an advanced telematics system to collect real-time data on the vans’ performance.

Confirmed participating company fleets (1 vehicle unless stated otherwise):

  • Addison Lee
  • Autoglass
  • British Gas
  • BSkyB
  • Clancy Plant
  • DPD
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Kier
  • Mears
  • Metropolitan Police (2 vehicles)
  • Morrison Utility Services
  • Speedy Services
  • Transport for London (3 vehicles)


Please check back here for more details on the pilot and the experiences of participating fleets through 2018.


Find out more about the Ford Transit Custom PHEV


Supporting the work of LoCITY. An industry led programme working to lower emissions of commercial vehicles.

Advanced Propulison Centre UK logo

The Ford Transit Custom PHEV is supported by a £4.7m Advanced Propulsion Centre and industry-funded project.

Blue Ford Focus RS and 2 men standing next to it

A Breath of Fresh Air

Ford’s plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Transit Custom is set to go on trial in London. For the first time, Ford can reveal how its game-changing powertrain works.