In the highest-range version of the Ford E-Transit, the van is rated at 126 miles of electric range. That means there might be a chance that the driver will need to charge when they are out and about. What does that process look like on the E-Transit?
First off, Ford doesn’t think many of its van drivers will need to charge out on the road. According to their internal data, Transit drivers currently drive, on average, 74 miles per day. That means half of drivers drive more than that, half drive less.
For those who need several hundred miles a day, the E-Transit might not be for them — yet. But for the once-in-awhile recharge, Ford is working to make it as seamless as possible.
The E-Transit carries the same system setup as the Mach-E crossover. That means that a driver will be able to find a charging station via the built-in navigation system. Upon arrival to a compatible charger, the van driver will be able to plug in and start charging.
All of the billing will be handled by the fleet manager and not the driver. At this point, it sounds very similar to Tesla’s Supercharger network — which if you look at the terms of service isn’t for commercial use — but since we haven’t tried it yet we aren’t sure if it’ll work exactly as described.
Being able to put the route in the navigation system and having it advise on charging stops should reduce any anxiety about running out of range. Additionally, the fleet manager will be able to keep tabs on the van and if it hasn’t been plugged in for awhile — let’s say the driver forgot at the end of their shift — it’ll send a notification to let them know.
It’s not as easy as just putting gas into a van, but Ford appears to be putting great effort into making the transition to electric as seamless as it can.