Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) said that it will offer a battery-electric version of its best-selling Transit commercial van in the United States and Canada. The new electric van is expected to go into production next year as a 2022 model.
As it does with the current Transit, Ford will offer several variants of the electric van, including partly finished models that can be customized for the needs of commercial-fleet buyers.
COO Jim Farley said that Ford expects commercial vehicles to make up a significant portion of its total electric vehicle (EV) sales within a few years. Ford will spend at least $11 billion through 2022 to develop a new range of hybrid and fully electric vehicles. It will begin production of the first of those fully electric vehicles, the Mustang Mach E crossover SUV, later this year.
Farley said that the new electric Transit will incorporate advanced data gathering and connectivity features tailored to the needs of its commercial-fleet customers.
"The world is heading toward electrified products, and fleet customers are asking for them now," Farley said. "We know their vehicles operate as a connected mobile business," and that their technology needs are different from those of Ford's retail customers. The new electric Transit will be tailored to meet those needs, he said.
Ford didn't share any details about the electric Transit's battery pack, range, or performance.
The electric Transit will be built in the United States, Ford said, but the company didn't give details. The current Transit vans are built at Ford's factory in Kansas City, Missouri.