All current large-format electric transporters are predestined for short trips, due to the large frontal areas and a significantly poorer Cd value compared to cars, they are at a disadvantage. In the long term, however, there are economic arguments in favor of this, because the maintenance costs are significantly lower than the comparable models with combustion engines. A look at the interesting experiences with the BEV transit.
While the trend in new passenger car registrations is clearly towards electromobility, there are still a few reservations to be registered in the transport industry. In the panel van sector in particular, there is hardly any time left for long-term charging in the prevailing industry applications in courier, express and parcel services. The BEV panel vans are therefore primarily of interest for short distances in cities, where charging is sufficient during the unused rest periods overnight.
Supplied with the transit Ford the transporter market directly since 1965 with different variants from panel vans and pickup trucks to minibuses. In previous generations, only conventional drives were offered. Since spring 2022, the electric drive has been based on emission-free electric motors in addition to the traditional diesel engine. The industry now has the choice between diesel for long-distance transport and electric motors for the city.
Transporters for the CEP industry
As a result, it faces strong competition in the BEV-CEP industry. Both the Mercedes eSprinter, the Renault Master E-Tech and the Opel Movano-e are vying for new customers in the same segment. The highly variable configuration plays into the hands of the Transit, the customer has a high degree of variability between single and crew cab, roof variants as well as payload and wheelbase. The equipment variants and engines can also be selected. The large-format transporter with the designation 350 L3H2 was at the start of our test car.
In cool winter weather, you can sit directly in the spacious cabin and look at a digital cockpit and a large-format 12-inch touch display after takeoff. There are also some comfort features such as heated front seats and windscreen and automatic climate control. In the winter test, of course, a clear advantage, which, however, once again significantly reduces the range when activated. And this is where the real crux lies, as with all electric cars, because the energy consumption is well over 40 kWh/100 km in our winter test with the significantly larger front and the poorer Cd values. And so the range melts from the specified 317 kilometers to less than 200 kilometers. But it can also be used for short distances in city traffic.
On the other hand, the significantly lower noise level and the completely new driving experience compared to the diesel models should be emphasized. The good visibility to the front is combined with the split rear-view mirrors for monitoring blind spot when turning. While driving there is support from the assistance systems such as hill start assist, pre-collision or post-collision systems. The display of the camera rear-view mirror and the reversing camera is very clear in terms of display and arrangement. Here, the collision-free lane can be easily found with the illustration of the steering angle of the front wheels on the display.
We do the test drives at a cool 0 to 5 degrees. Those who have already driven the louder diesel models in comparison will feel more relaxed in the high seating position. All essential interactive apps are continuously displayed in very high resolution via the touch display. The top speed is 130 km/h, but the high consumption figures are already evident at over 80 km/h, and a defensive driving style is reflected in a longer range.
Charging on the supercharger
There is currently only one delivery with the 68 kWh battery. Charging is either three-phase via the Type 2 connector with 11 kW or the CCS connector with up to 115 kW charging power. This allows charging from 20% to 80% with arrival and departure within a good three quarters of an hour. This also works in practice in winter with a preheated battery on the Supercharger. This allows the service life to be reliably calculated in the CEP application sector. The charging port is located directly in the center of the front grille. This causes problems when connecting the relatively short CCS charging cables at some charging stations. The cables should be planned to be a meter longer here in the future.
The two household sockets directly behind the right-hand tailgate are more practical and can be used to provide up to 2,3 kW of electricity for manual work, for example. It is definitely worth having an extension cable on board at all times. Various devices could be operated with it, from electric lawnmowers to drills. Or you can use an electric grill to take a break at the charging station.
In addition to the variability described above, the actual payload for daily shipments is even more important for large-volume transporters. Here the e-transit plays in the upper league and offers between 795 kg (L4H3) and 1.685 kg (L3H2) cargo load. In addition, it is interesting for some companies to also use a trailer, with the models 350 L2H2, 350 L3H2, 350 L3H3 and 350 L4H3 up to 750 kg can be towed.
Ford offers the transit in the CEP segment at an attractive price-performance ratio compared to the competition. While the purchase price is higher compared to diesel, some discounts can still be achieved with the state subsidy programs. The biggest advantages of the e-transporter are clearly the lower operating costs over the term. If it can be integrated into the fleet management with regard to charging times, the total costs over the entire period of use are often lower than with diesel.
Test from spring 2023
How do you like the BEV transporter?
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