With an intent to better the air quality in urban areas, the Ford Transit Custom plug-in hybrid has added a new feature known as the geofencing technology. This technology works by utilising the live locational data, to automatically switch the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) to electric drive mode, every time the vehicle enters a low-emission zone. The geofencing technology automatically switches back to drive mode, once the vehicle leaves the low-emission zone.
Regulation compliance in low-emission zones
The Transit Custom PHEV with geofencing technology can record information about electric-only operation in geofenced areas. These are virtually fenced areas, that act as a perimeter around a physical location. This data is encrypted and can be shared with authorities to comply with regulations in low-emission zones. Thus, this technology will also help consumers to circumvent wrongful fines or penalties.
A step in the right direction
The scope of this technology is not just limited to urban centres. It is up to vehicle drivers, as they can create “green zones” in areas such as schools, playgrounds, warehouses, etc. This can considerably limit air-pollution in these areas. When asked about the motivation behind introducing Automatic Electric Mode, director of Ford‘s European commercial vehicle mobility, Mr Mark Harvey stated that the brand is trying to upgrade the air quality because all of us should be working towards this goal.
Customers can contribute to curbing air pollution
According to Mr Harvey, the Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, with its newly added geofencing feature, is offering an opportunity for customers to participate in making the city air quality a little bit better. Moreover, with Ford’s Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, customers can curb air pollution without settling on efficiency or productivity. In his opinion, by improving the air quality, the brand is also aiming to better the overall quality of life in towns and cities.
Improved air quality
All across Europe, low-emission zones are becoming more and more common. It is proving to be an effective way of controlling the environmental effect of air pollutants in cities and metropolises. Within the first six months of declaring London as the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels dropped by an impressive 30%. This is significant, as NO2 is one of the most damaging pollutants that are emitted from vehicles.
Hybrid-electric vehicles have a role to play
According to research conducted by Ford, hybrid-electric vehicles can play an important role in enhancing urban air quality. As per the research, about 75% of all miles driven in central London by participants, were finished in the Transits’ zero-emission electric-only mode.
The Transit Custom PHEV van and Tourneo Custom PHEV people mover are two of the very first hybrid-electric options in their respective class of vehicles. With a 13.6 kWh battery, a zero-emission NEDC driving range of 35 miles can be achieved with Transit Custom PHEV. While the Tourneo Custom PHEV can deliver up to 33 miles. In both vehicles, the onboard 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine can charge the battery on-demand, and therefore, extending the combined range up to 343 and 317 miles, respectively. The recharging duration for both vehicles is under four-and-a-half hours, in case of a standard domestic mains supply. Whereas, in the case of a commercial charging point, the recharging only takes under three hours.
PHEVs are proving incredibly useful
Observing from the trails being undertaken by Ford, it is clear that PHEVs are showing immense utility, particularly for van owners and businesses that are operating within the city. They can take longer journeys, as the vehicles are not relying on the charging infrastructure. This means, drivers don’t have to fret about charging, and they will be able to enjoy zero-emission driving without facing difficulties in their jobs. Furthermore, there is no reduction in payload or volume of the load, when compared against traditional diesel vehicles.
55 years of excellence, and counting
This year marks the 55th consecutive year of Transit being touted as the most favourite van within The UK. Adding to the overall sales of transit, the very first electrified Transit Custom hybrid has to lead the total sales since 1965, to surpass a whopping 3,100,000*. After receiving the Plug-in Van Grant eligibility, over 500 orders have been placed so far for the hybrid. Ford is continuing with the electrification of its entirety of vehicle range. Alongside the current mild-hybrid two-tonne Transit and Transit Custom powertrain options, the brand has also announced its plans to develop an all-electric Transit BEV.