January 2017 saw Ford launch a multi-million pound project designed to help improve air quality in London as part of a global electrified vehicle push. The project, supported by Transport for London, features a 12-month trial of 20 new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Transit Custom vans, which Revolve Technologies Ltd have been involved in offering programme support and vehicle instrumentation.
The project, supported by a £4.7m grant from the U.K. Government will provide the vans to a range of commercial fleets across London – including Transport for London’s fleet. The purpose is to explore how they can contribute to cleaner air targets while boosting productivity for operators in urban condition.
“Ford is the number one 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 Jim Farley, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. “This new type of partnership demonstrates our evolution to both an auto and mobility company. We have lots of work to do but the everyone is so energised by this breakthrough opportunity.”
Scheduled to launch in the autumn, the trial is part of Ford's commitment to work with major cities around the world to tackle their local transport challenges, and help people and goods move more easily.
“The freight sector’s transition to ultra-low emission vehicles is central to cleaning up London’s toxic air,” said Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. “Transport for London continues to lead by example by increasing the number of its own vehicles that are electric and will find the data from these trials an invaluable resource for the LoCITY programme, which encourages the uptake of low emission commercial transport.”
The vans can be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, with an efficient engine for longer trips; and telematics systems will collect data on the vehicles’ financial, operational and environmental performance.