Dearborn’s Ford Motor Co. will be offering an all-electric version of its Ford Transit cargo van for the 2022 model year. The automaker also outlined upgrades to its F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis commercial vehicles. The announcements were made Tuesday at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.
“Commercial vehicles are a critical component to our big bet on electrification,” says Jim Farley, newly named COO of Ford. “As leaders in this space, we are accelerating our plans to create solutions that help businesses run better, starting with our all-electric Transit and F-150. This Ford Transit isn’t just about creating an electric drivetrain, it’s about designing and developing a digital product that propels fleets forward.”
Farley says Ford intends to lead the transition to zero emissions in the commercial vehicle segment with its all-electric Transit. Ford’s U.S. truck and van fleet sales have grown 33 percent since 2015 and the company expects continued growth of van sales in the U.S. as e-commerce and “last mile” delivery increase. Ford’s overall van sales delivered their best fourth quarter results since 1978 on sales of 59,930 vans. For the year, Ford van sales totaled 240,529 vehicles. Ford expects electric vehicles to grow to 8 percent of the industry in 2025 in the U.S.
The all-electric Transit, which will be American-built, is part of Ford’s more than $11.5 billion investment in electrification through 2022.
“The world is heading toward electrified products and fleet customers are asking for them now,” says Farley. “We know their vehicles operate as a connected mobile business and their technology needs are different than retail customers. So, Ford is thinking deeply on connectivity relationships that integrate with our in-vehicle high-speed electrical architectures and cloud-based data services to provide these businesses smart vehicles beyond just the electric powertrains.”
Smart technology built into the all-electric Transit will help to optimize fleet efficiency and reduce waste, as well as improve driver behavior by providing insights into operator performance. Fleets can leverage insightful data collected through Ford Telematics using an embedded FordPass Connect modem featuring a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with connectivity for up to 10 devices. Managers can use Ford Data Services tools like live map GPS tracking, geofencing, and vehicle diagnostics to see key performance indicators at a glance for vehicle and driver.
In addition to the all-electric Transit news, Ford announced it is adding more customer-driven options to its F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks and E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis.
One of Ford’s latest innovations, the all-new F-600 Super Duty chassis cab now is available to order for delivery this summer. Ford F-600 delivers the capability of a Class 6 truck in a Class 5 package, giving a new choice to fleets and vocational customers who need additional payload or want to mount heavier upfits without moving into a bigger truck.
For customers who prefer alternative fuels, Ford is offering a gaseous fuel prep package for its new 7.3-liter V-8 gasoline engine in current model year Super Duty F-450, F-550, and F-600 chassis cab, Medium Duty, E-Series, and F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis vehicles. The package includes upgraded valvetrain components to withstand higher operating temperatures and lower lubricity of gaseous fuels so the vehicle can be converted by a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to run on CNG or propane.
For the first time, an integrated air compressor will be available for the Medium Duty’s 7.3-liter engine. The compressor can be used to power air brakes, air suspension and other accessories like air horns or air ride seats. Currently, air brakes only are available on diesel-powered trucks.
Ford is the only manufacturer offering a choice of gasoline or diesel engine for Class 6-7 conventional cab trucks – its 7.3-liter gas V-8 or updated 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V-8.
Also new for E-Series cutaway next year is a scalloped engine access cover that provides additional legroom, in response to customer requests primarily from the recreational vehicle industry. E-Series is the most popular platform for Class C motorhomes, with 58 percent market share.
Production of 2022 Ford F-650, F-750 and E-Series begins in January at Ohio Assembly Plant.