Ford Reveals Battery-Electric Transit Smart Energy Concept
Hot off the heels of revealing its Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid ahead of a full-scale European launch this year, Ford has unveiled its new Transit Smart Energy Concept. The Ford Transit Smart Energy Concept is a 10-seater minibus that boasts 93 miles of driving range on a four-hour charge and features energy-saving and -generating features like solar panels and heat recovery.
“With frequent door openings, a large space to keep at comfortable temperatures, and a big payload to carry, a minibus presents the toughest challenge for maximizing battery-electric vehicle range, and that’s exactly why we chose it for our new Transit Smart Energy Concept,” said Kilian Vas, project leader, Vehicle Architecture, Ford of Europe. “By developing this concept, we’ve found a number of clever ways to save energy that could help further improve the electrified vehicle experience for customers in the future.”
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The innovations utilized by the Ford Transit Smart Energy Concept include a heat pump system that pulls wasted heat from the drivetrain and outside of the vehicle, helping extend range by 20 percent. The power sliding door helps reduce heat loss by opening halfway and automatically cutting the heat and A/C when opened, heated business-class passenger seats and surfaces are locally controllable to cut the use of energy throughout the cabin, and a polycarbonate divider between the first and second rows further reduces heat loss as passengers enter and exit the vehicle.
The Transit Smart Energy Concept also employs six solar panels mounted on the roof to power everything from heated seating and cabin lighting to on-board electrical systems like wireless charging.
Ford will conduct road trials with the concept throughout the year leading up to an expected 2021 launch for the production-ready version.
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