Ford will launch a new version of the popular Transit Custom in 2023 with a fully electric powertrain.
The new model will also be offered with plug-in hybrid, mild hybrid and diesel engines.
It will be built in Turkey at Ford’s existing Transit plant, on the same production line as the next VW Transporter.
Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe, said: “The next generation Transit Custom range – including the all-electric versions – will strengthen Ford’s position as Europe’s No.1 commercial vehicle brand.
“Transit Custom is the jewel in our commercial vehicle crown and key in our drive to grow our commercial vehicle business as we continue to create a sustainable, profitable Ford business in Europe rooted in an electrified future.”
The Transit Custom regularly tops sales charts in the UK. Last year it achieved more than 43,000 registrations, making it the best-selling commercial vehicle in the UK by a margin of 20,000 units.
As part of Ford and VW’s ‘project cyclone’ alliance, the Transit Custom will share a platform with the upcoming Transporter. Ford’s new Transit Connect will also be based on a VW Caddy platform while the Ranger and Amarok pick-ups will be co-developed.
Ford said in February that its entire commercial vehicle range will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid, by 2024, with two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales expected to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.
In the interim period, however, it will continue to provide a range of powertrain technologies, including conventional diesel, to suit those operators that aren’t ready to switch.
Diesel will continue play an important role in commercial vehicle applications in the years ahead, according to Ford. It will continue to produce diesel engines at its Dagenham plant. By 2025, it is expected that up to 60% of the plant’s entire diesel engine volume will be destined just for the manufacturer’s one-tonne vehicles.