Project designed to improve the city's air quality
Ford announced it will launch a new project in cooperation with the city of London to help improve the city’s air quality. Part of the project includes a 12-month trial of Ford Transit Custom vans featuring plug-in hybrid powertrains that will be used primarily in electric mode for the majority of trips to reduce emissions. This is part of the automaker’s plan to accelerate its electrification plans, which includes the introduction of 13 new electrified vehicles over the next five years. Part of the project’s funding came from the Advance Propulsion Centre, which is financially supported by the U.K. government.
In total, 20 Ford Transit plug-ins will be provided to commercial fleets throughout the city, including Transport for London, in order to see how these vans can reduce air pollution and boost operators’ productivity in highly urbanized areas. The fleet trial launches in fall 2017 and is the first project that will form Ford’s commitment to work with major cities worldwide to address transport issues.
“Ford is the No. 1 commercial vehicle brand in Europe and it’s now going electric. Teaming up with our London partners, we will also be able to trial software and telematics with enormous potential to reduce emissions and costs in the city,” said Ford Europe CEO Jim Farley, in a statement. “This new type of partnership demonstrates our evolution to both an auto and mobility company. We have lots of work to do, but everyone is so energized by this breakthrough opportunity.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement that ultra low emissions vehicles are key to improving London’s air quality and that Transport for London will be adding more electrified vehicles to its fleet for that purpose. LoCITY, London’s program for helping the commercial sector reduce emissions, will collect data such as the financial, operational, and environmental performance to help maximize the benefits of electrified commercial vehicles.
The U.K.’s Advanced Propulsion Centre has funded the development of the 20 Ford Transit plug-in hybrids with a grant worth approximately $5.8 million USD. Ford‘s facility in Dunton, U.K. and Prodrive Advanced Technology in Banbury, U.K. will design and engineer the vans, and will be supported by Revolve Technologies. The U.K.’s Climate Change and Industry minister, Nick Hurd said in a statement that the U.K. government will continue to work with the auto industry to develop new technologies that will help reduce emissions, create more skilled jobs, and promote economic growth.
As part of its plan to add more EVs and hybrid vehicles, Ford will be electrifying many vehicles in its model range including vehicles such as the Mustang and F-150 truck in the North America.