Ford starts trials of Transit Plug-In Hybrid in London image

The US automaker, well known in Europe for its Transit commercial vehicle, previously revealed its plans to manufacture a test batch of 20 plug-in hybrid Ford Transit vans, and now they are ready to hit the streets in the United Kingdom.

The first production example has now been revealed by Ford, and it’s ready to start a 12-month real-world evaluation starting later this year. The Transit Custom PHEV’s high-tech powertrain makes use of the company’s award-winning 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, linked to a generator that sends electricity to a lithium-ion battery located under the load floor, with no impact on the available cargo space. There’s enough juice for 31 miles (50 kilometers) of pure electric range, and maximum range is of more than 310 miles (499 kilometers).

Ford starts trials of Transit Plug-In Hybrid in London 5

The powertrain also makes use of high-tech features such as geolocation to monitor the vehicle’s drive and will cut the internal combustion engine when driving through the city. Ford is sending the PHEV vans to entities such as British Gas, the Metropolitan Police, and Heathrow Airport. After the initial evaluation of the 20 units, the brand wants to make it commercially available sometime in 2019. “Cleaner vans, like those being used in this trial, will be vital in helping the freight and fleet sector to reduce the emissions and play its part in tackling the Capital’s air quality crisis,” commented Lilli Matson, Transport for London’s Director of Transport Strategy.