This spring (May 2022), Ford announced that the E-Transit Custom would be joining its line-up of electric vehicles. Set to begin production in the second half of 2023, the e-Transit Custom will be the second of 5 fully electric vans from Ford. The E-Transit already on the market will be joined over the next 2 years by the E-Transit Custom (basically a smaller, mid-sized version of the full-sized E-Transit) and E-Transit Courier, as well as the Tourneo Custom (basically a passenger version of the Transit) and Tourneo Courier.
Unfortunately, the details released so far on the E-Transit Custom are a bit scanty. Below we’ll go over what we know for sure, what we can infer, and what we can dream of.
Stats and Specs
Load Area: starts at 5.4 cubic metres
Towing Capacity: 2000 kg (full)
Acceleration: unconfirmed, but likely will be the same as E-Transit (0-100 kmph/0-62 mph in 7 seconds)
Torque: unconfirmed, but likely will be the same as E-Transit (431 Newton-meters)
Battery: unknown, but likely will be the same 68kWh battery pack as the E-Transit
Motor: unconfirmed, but likely 181- and 265-horsepower as seen in the E-Transit
Range: up to 380 km
Rapid Charge Time: unconfirmed, likely ~34 minutes for 10-80% at 150kW as in E-Transit
Standard (Wallbox) Charge Time: unknown
Like the full sized E-Transit, it will feature the optional Pro Power On-board system, which allows the van to function as a portable generator to power lights and other electric equipment). It will also run Ford’s latest Sync 4 operating system with a 12-inch screen and have 3G connectivity.
Further details are set to be released in September. In the meantime, as you can see, there’s just not a whole lot of information to go on. That said, the Custom will likely have a lot in common technology-wise with the full-size E-Transit and the Transit Custom PHEV (plug-in hybrid) and design/appearance-wise with the diesel-powered Transit Custom (the star of Ford’s commercial vehicle line-up and the best-selling van in Europe).
That means that it will likely use the same 68kWh battery as the full-sized E-Transit, which translates into a maximum speed of 137 kmph/85 mph and acceleration of 0-100 kmph/0-62 mph in 7 seconds. It also means rapid charging time could be as fast as 34 minutes (10-80%).
Payload is something that’s a little more difficult to speculate on. The standard Transit’s 2,500 kg would be nice, but time will tell.
Based on the info that’s already been released, we also know the E-Transit Custom will improve on the above models in some aspects. Range is one example: at 380 km the E-Transit’s range significantly surpasses the comparatively measly 200 km of the full-sized E-Transit. That’s a major advantage for the Custom, especially in terms of campervan potential. It’s not the only one; there’s also the consideration of space. Thanks to less bulk from mechanical parts, the interior is somewhat roomier than the diesel model — while having the same exterior dimensions. That’s one small step closer to the Tardis and one decent-sized step closer to a camper.
Ford’s Partnership with Volkswagen
Due to a recently expanded partnership between Ford and Volkwagen, the E-Transit Custom will also have many similarities to Volkswagen’s upcoming e-Transporter and current ID.Buzz; it will use Volkswagen’s MEB (Modular Electric Drive) platform, will have many of the same key components as Volkswagen’s vans, and will be manufactured at the same plant in Kocaeli, Turkey. This is all part of “Project Cyclone”, Ford and Volkswagen’s alliance begun in 2019 as a way to economically produce the high-tech vehicles needed as the auto world transitions into an electric, zero-emissions future.
Like all fully electric vehicles, the E-Transit custom will be exempt from road tax, have zero-emission status and be allowed access to Ultra Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zones. It will also be eligible for the UK Government’s Plug-In Van Grant.
Pricing has not yet been revealed, but is likely to be competitive.
Exterior Design (She’s a Beauty!)
With so few confirmed details currently available to discuss, interested potential buyers/drivers have had to content themselves with drooling over rendered prototype images, which show off a stunning teal blue paint job (reminiscent of the iridescent wings of some butterflies and dragonflies), LED headlights and an LED light bar across the front, LED tail lights, and a redesigned nose that’s longer and sleeker than that of the diesel version. The grille is, of course, cosmetic, but it sure looks snazzy — and it subtly advertises the vehicle’s electric status with a few “E’s” integrated into the design.
As for practical exterior design considerations, the charge port is conveniently located below the headlight on the right hand side of the front bumper. The optional passenger/cargo area door is a sliding door as in the full-sized, diesel and hybrid models.
Campervan Conversion Potential
The E-Transit Custom is intended mainly for the commercial market as part of an initiative to encourage the switch to electric and meet zero-emissions goals. However, the roomy cargo areas of commercial vans make them super-popular for campervan conversion, and the E-Transit will be ideal for this purpose.
Ford’s Pro Power On-board system, which has been confirmed for the E-Transit Custom, is a game-changer for camping. It’s a big part of what has made the standard Ford Transit so popular as a campervan. It can power electric appliances like refrigerators, microwaves and air-conditioners; gone are the days of having to fit your van with a custom solution for your on-board power needs.
‘Vanlifers’ are already making plans to turn the E-Transit Custom into their dream mini-motorhome, and UK campervan enthusiasts are more than a little bummed that it doesn’t seem to be bound for the US market — at least not anytime soon. With campervan and motorhome popularity on the rise, and the growing market for campervan and motorhome rentals in the UK and worldwide, this one will probably be a popular option.