Beginning in spring of 2019, Ford will be commencing commercial vehicle trials for their upcoming Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid in Cologne, Germany.
Following London and Valencia in Spain, Cologne will be the third European city used to test the productivity of the electric Transit. Ford, supported by the City of Cologne, will operate a fleet of 10 Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrids with regional companies in the city to investigate the extent to which plug-ins can help to achieve urban air quality goals. According to Ford, trials for the 10 Ford Transit Custom units will initially run for 12 months.
Two Ford Transit Custom units will be given to each of the following regional companies for testing:
- AWB Abfallwirtschaftsbetriebe Köln (waste management)
- Cologne Bonn Airport
- Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln (harbour and freight traffic)
- Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe (public transport association)
- RheinEnergie (regional energy company)
The upcoming Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid will feature a 14 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that will enable 50 km (31 miles) of fully-electric range. The electric van will be able to support a total range of over 500 km (310 miles) and sports a payload of over 1,000 kg (roughly 2,204 lbs).
In their most recent press release, Gunnar Herrmann, Chairman of the Management Board, Ford of Germany, stated:
“Ford recognises Cologne as a city of strategic importance regarding future mobility. Together with the City of Cologne, we will start to investigate how we might in future look forward to urban areas that offer better air quality and can also be more productive.”
Henriette Reker, Mayor of the City of Cologne, added:
“For the rapidly growing city of Cologne, emission-free mobility is a crucial issue for the future. Every research project that works towards this will benefit our city. I am glad that Ford, as an automotive manufacturer, with its European headquarters in Cologne, will undertake this trial.”
Production for the Ford Transit Custom are expected to begin next year, but it will release as a European-exclusive vehicle.