Ford will unveil the all-electric version of its popular Transit delivery van on November 12th, the automaker announced Thursday. The vehicle won’t go into production until 2021, but Ford is hoping to get out ahead of an expected wave of new battery-powered delivery vans.
At the unveiling, Ford is expected to share specifics about the van’s battery pack size, estimated range, and other performance characteristics. Range, in particular, will be an important metric considering delivery vans need to stay on the road for as long as possible in order to make the most money. Ford previously teased the electric Transit van and also announced an electric Transit for the European market in 2019. The automaker did reveal the name of the new vehicle: E-Transit.
“The world – and the way we power our vehicles – is changing,” the company said in a statement. “It’s why the time is right for a new type of Transit, something that remains the backbone of commercial business while serving both our community and the environment.”
Ford’s Transit van is the bestselling cargo van in the US, though it has seen increased competition over the last few years from Mercedes-Benz, which recently refreshed its popular Sprinter van.
The E-Transit will land amid a wave of new electric vehicles going into production for the North American market. Most will be passenger vehicles, but a handful will be for commercial delivery.
Mercedes-Benz has already unveiled an electric version of the Sprinter van. Ford’s main competitor, General Motors, is working on an electric delivery van, codenamed “BV1.” Recently, Amazon revealed its first all-electric delivery vehicle, which is being built by EV startup Rivian. And another startup, Bollinger, recently revealed the Deliver-E, an all-electric delivery van concept that is slated for production in 2022. Ford is also collaborating with Volkswagen on commercial vans after the two companies formed a global alliance early last year.
Not all of the new delivery vans will be electric; some will be autonomous. Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automotive announced recently that they are extending their four-year-old partnership to include commercial vans. The companies said they would jointly develop an autonomous delivery van based on FCA’s Ram ProMaster.