Ford's E-Transit Joins the Heavy Duty Electric Ecosystem

Ford's E-Transit Joins the Heavy Duty Electric Ecosystem

I’ve driven Ford’s “E” series before – the van version of their popular “F” series pickups – and enjoyed the smooth ride and elevated viewpoint (literally), so this is pretty exciting.

Actually, the whole notion of electric heavy-duty vehicles fascinates me – the idea of some of the biggest gas guzzlers on the planet getting electrified.

In the past, we’ve covered electric semis, electric Hummers, electric (and autonomous) delivery vehicles, electric school buses, Tesla’s Cybertruck, and even an electrified version of Volkswagen’s famous hippie bus.

So an electric edition of Ford’s Transit series isn’t exactly revolutionary (or unexpected), but every time a top automaker throws their hat in the electric race and/or a famous vehicular model ditches the internal combustion engine, it’s big news.

Ars Technica recently had the chance to drive the E-Transit, and their impressions are as follows:

As expected, the sound and feel of the “E” is radically different from the ICE version – “The E-Transit is perhaps the most refined Transit Ford's ever made. It's still a big resonating box on wheels (unless you're in the cutaway or chassis cab versions). But there's no noisy, vibrating engine up front or an exhaust to blow. Instead, there's just the faint whooshing from the rear as you add some throttle.”

The base battery is 68 kWh, keeping the range to 108-126 miles (174-203 km) per charge. Ford claims most of its commercial customers travel 75 miles (120 km) a day, which jives with their smug attitude towards last-mile delivery vans – with the E-Transit, Ford specifically wants everyone to thinkbeyond those limited last-mile vehicles, even if the base E-Transit is somewhat tethered to their home base (at least until a nationwide electric infrastructure is in place).

Its electric drive unit offers 266 hp (198 kW) and 317 lb-ft (430 Nm), and its payload ranges from 3,330- 4,428 lbs, depending on the model and options.

The base model runs about $43,295, while an extended-length, high-roof E-Transit will cost around 10K more.