A mere three months after the introduction of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London, the results of a year-long study into the use of plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) commercial vehicles have been revealed.
The trial, which was government funded, saw 20 Ford Transit Custom PHEV models take to the roads, and aimed to ascertain whether they were a viable solution for businesses. The vans were put through their paces, covering a total of 150,000 miles, with participants testing whether they could stand up to busy schedules while maximising the powertrain’s electric-only mode. Over the course of the study, 75% of the fleet’s mileage in Central London was completed using electric power alone.
The results showed a dramatic reduction in tailpipe emissions in the city, and proved that PHEV and electric models constitute a realistic solution for businesses from a variety of sectors. The petrol engines provided drivers with the flexibility to extend their range when necessary, alleviating any concerns over the mileage range on offer.
Mark Harvey, director of the Urban Electrified Van programme said, “The response has been overwhelmingly positive – operators don’t want to give [the vehicles] back.”
Ford has already begun to incorporate learnings from the trial into its Transit Custom PHEV models, which are expected to go on sale at the end of 2019. Increased motor performance and optimised operating strategies are among the enhancements to have been included.
The plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles are expected to combine the award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with an electric motor, and deliver a range of 31 miles in electric-only mode. This will increase to 310 miles with the assistance of the petrol engine. Anticipated emissions levels start from 75g/km.
To find out more about the forthcoming Ford Transit Custom PHEV, or learn about local low emissions zones, contact the team at your local Birchwood Ford dealership today.