First look: Next-gen Ford E-Transit courier revealed - Select CarLeasing
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First Look: Next-Gen Ford E-Transit Courier Revealed

Ford Pro has unveiled an initial glimpse of the upcoming next-generation E-Transit Courier. Sporting an entirely new design, the Courier is first presented as an all-electric commercial vehicle, although petrol and diesel versions will be released before it.

The E-Transit Courier broadens Ford's portfolio of electric and connected vans, integrating with the Ford Pro suite of software and connected services, including comprehensive charging options and management tools supplied by Ford Pro software.

The new van has been designed to feature a more spacious and adaptable cargo space, providing a 26% improvement in load volume compared to the previous model, as well as an increased payload capacity and room to accommodate two Euro pallets.

As part of Ford's $50 billion worldwide initiative to spearhead the electric LCV transformation, the E-Transit Courier is the newest member of the company's electrified Transit family. It complements the existing E-Transit and E-Transit Custom models in Ford's lineup.

Hans Schep, general manager, Ford Pro, Europe: “E-Transit Courier moves its segment up a level with uncompromised EV performance, higher load capacity and fully connected support, including end-to-end charging solutions, Ford Pro E-Telematics and uptime-boosting FORDLiive. Ford Pro’s long-standing market leadership gives us unrivalled insight into customers’ needs and means we can help them get big productivity from their compact vans with more connectivity and capability than ever before.”

Electric Drivetrain

The E-Transit Courier operates on an electric powertrain equipped with a 100kW (136hp) motor and single-pedal driving functionality.

Although Ford has not disclosed details about battery capacity and range, it is anticipated that the new van will be equipped with a 74kWh battery pack, providing approximately 270 miles of driving before requiring a recharge.

Likely to be favoured by customers who charge their vehicles at home, the E-Transit Courier is expected to fully charge in under six hours using an 11kW home charger — fast enough for an overnight charge. Users can schedule charging sessions to benefit from lower night time energy rates via the in-vehicle touchscreen or depot charging software.

The E-Transit Courier can be charged at public rapid charging stations at rates up to 100kW. Ford estimates that this method can add 54 miles of range in 10 minutes, enabling the battery to be charged from near-empty (about 10%) to 80% in under 35 minutes. E-Transit Courier purchasers will also receive a year of complimentary access to the BlueOval Charge Network, projected to encompass 500,000 public chargers by 2024.

Companies with fleets of five or more vehicles can take advantage of one year of free access to Ford Pro E-Telematics features. This system uses real-time data to optimise productivity and offer support for Ford Pro Charging, able to show the current charging status, vehicle-specific state of charge, and remaining range with customisable low-range alert thresholds.

The Plug and Charge feature enables E-Transit Courier owners to simply connect their vehicle to compatible BlueOval Charge Network chargers and walk away. Charging commences automatically, with a bill and charge summary sent to the owner once the van has been unplugged. A cloud-based Intelligent Range feature collects data to provide more precise range estimates.

The initial launch of the Transit Courier lineup will not include an electric version, instead featuring a 1.0-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine, delivering 125hp and 100hp, respectively. Both engines will come equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, while the higher-powered petrol-powered unit will offer an optional seven-speed automatic transmission.

Customer-Focused Design

The E-Transit Courier's exterior design deviates from the typical wedge shape of contemporary vans, featuring an eye-catching bonneted body and a roomy, functional interior. The new model comes with an extensive standard equipment package, including distinctive cabin elements such as a "squircle" steering wheel design that enhances legroom and driver visibility. A column-mounted gear selector, push-button start, and electronic parking brake allow for additional configurable storage space.

The "digiboard" instrument panel showcases a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen equipped with Ford's SYNC 4 software. The subscription-based Connected Navigation system aims to boost productivity and ease driver stress by offering updates on traffic, parking, charging stations, and local hazards. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility also come as standard. An ‘Office Pack’ features a foldable flat work surface and lighting, making it more convenient and comfortable to use laptops, complete paperwork, or take a break in the cab.

Amko Leenarts, design director, Ford, Europe: “The new E-Transit Courier is a clean-sheet design that puts Ford Pro’s cutting-edge technologies and hard-working nature into a compact, modern van. The front end emphasises its toughness and capability, while the visor-like windscreen and high belt line give it a trustful stance. The spacious cabin is designed to declutter drivers’ days and be a connected, productive sanctuary to help them get the job done.”

Payload and Towing

The E-Transit Courier's innovative body design provides enhanced load capacity in every direction; the 1,220mm width between the rear wheel arches allows the compact van to accommodate two Euro pallets for the first time, while total cargo volume has increased to 2.9m3, a 26% improvement over the previous model. A new load-through bulkhead feature allows for even more cargo space, enabling customers to transport items such as planks or pipes up to 2,600mm in length. The all-electric model's maximum payload is 700kg, with a maximum towing weight of 750kg.

Beneath the hood, the E-Transit Courier features a 44-litre frunk, perfect for storing small items like charging cables and a first aid kit. A full-height steel bulkhead comes standard on all panel van models, while an optional mesh-protected bulkhead window and load-through hatch are available. Customers can also choose to add mid-height cargo rails for securing larger items.

The petrol and diesel-powered Transit Courier models offer a standard payload of up to 678kg, with a High Payload option that raises the maximum carrying capacity to 845kg. Maximum trailer weight is 1,100kg for diesel models and 1,000kg for petrol vans.

Safety and Security

With Ford Pro Software, operators can take advantage of improved vehicle security alerts for collisions and break-ins, while Fleet Start Inhibit allows fleet managers to remotely enable or disable the van to prevent theft or unauthorised use outside working hours.

To enhance security without the need for time-consuming and costly aftermarket solutions, Ford collaborated with vehicle security experts TVL to provide factory-fit lock packs for the E-Transit Courier. These packs feature secondary hook locks to counteract "peel and steal" attacks and automatic locking for the sliding side door, reducing driver workload and saving time on each delivery.

Driver safety is paramount, and the E-Transit Courier raises the bar in its segment with its comprehensive array of advanced driver assistance systems. These include automatic emergency braking, automatic high beam, driver fatigue alert, front and rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assist, a rear view camera, and traffic sign recognition. An optional package offers even more features, such as adaptive cruise control with lane centring and stop & go, blind spot alert and cross traffic alert, intersection assist, and reverse brake assist, providing added confidence during urban driving.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing details for the E-Transit Courier have not been released yet, but Ford anticipates that operating costs will be substantially lower than the previous model, with non-scheduled maintenance expenses expected to be at least 35% lower than those of diesel-powered models.

The new van is supported by the same extensive Ford Pro Service network as the rest of the Transit family, which includes a growing Mobile Service capability, the unique FORDLiive connected uptime system, and Europe's largest dedicated commercial vehicle dealer network.

The all-new E-Transit Courier is scheduled for its public debut at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham from April 18th to 20th. Production of the E-Transit Courier is planned to commence in late 2024, while petrol and diesel models will be available for order in summer 2023, with delivery expected before the year's end.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024