Ford Motor Company (F 3.23%) said today that it will add a battery-electric version of its midsize Transit Custom to its commercial-van lineup in 2023.
The next-generation version of the Transit Custom, a midsize commercial van popular in Europe, will also be offered in plug-in hybrid and so-called "mild hybrid" versions, as well as conventional internal-combustion and the new fully electric iteration, when it debuts in about two years, Ford said.
Ford builds the Transit Custom in a factory in Kocaeli Province in Turkey that is owned by Ford Otosan, its longtime joint venture with Turkish industrial conglomerate Koç Holding (KHOLY 2.60%). Ford Otosan said in December that it will invest 2 billion euros ($2.38 billion) in the factory, about 60 miles southeast of Istanbul, to increase production of battery packs and completed vehicles.
Ford of Europe's president, Stuart Rowley, said that the new electric Transit Custom will help strengthen the company's leading position in commercial vehicles in Europe, a key priority in CEO Jim Farley's bid to ensure that its European operation remains sustainably profitable.
"Transit Custom is the jewel in our commercial vehicle crown and key in our drive to grow our commercial vehicle business [in Europe]," Rowley said.
Ford also confirmed that the Kocaeli plant will build a new commercial van for Volkswagen (VWAGY 4.44%) that will share underpinnings with the all-new Transit Custom, part of the expanded partnership between Ford and VW announced last year.
Ford plans to launch a battery-electric version of the full-size Transit commercial van, called the E-Transit, later this year. It will be built in Kansas City, Missouri.
The new Transit Custom is expected to launch in the first half of 2023, Ford said.