New Ford Transit could transform your business
A host of new models and features were revealed back in September at the 2018 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show held in Hannover, Germany.
There's the new 2-tonne Transit, the plug-in hybrid added to the Transit Custom line-up, and a whole range of Transit Connect vans including a brand new sport version. The range and versatility of the Ford Transit remains the target all the others are aiming for.
But does it really matter what van your business uses? Regardless of the badge on the bonnet aren't they all essentially big boxes on wheels designed to carry as much stuff as possible as economically as possible?
We know it will depend on your intended use but choosing a Transit could actually make a significant difference to your business.
For smaller businesses running just one or two vans it will be the practicality and running costs that are of interest. If you're operating a fleet of vans you might prioritise the latest technology to help you track and maintain your operation. Either way, or even if you're somewhere between those two examples, the Ford Transit range is likely to provide the solution for your business.
In terms of efficiency there's a lot to attract any business. Ford has spent a great deal of time and effort to ensure the range of engines and gearboxes in the Transit range are as economical as they can possibly be. Whether it's a 1.0-litre petrol in a Transit Connect or the 2.0-litre diesel in the new 2-tonne version that suits you best you can be sure it will one of the most economical vans on the road.
Of course if you really want to improve economy you can opt for one of the hybrid models entering the range.
There's a mild hybrid (mHEV) diesel version that replaces that standard alternator with a belt-driven integrated starter/generator. This can recover and store energy during vehicle decelerations which then charges a 48-volt lithium-ion air-cooled battery pack. The stored energy is then used to provide assistance to the engine under normal driving and acceleration, as well as running the vehicle's electrical ancillaries. The Transit mHEV system has been optimised to enhance fuel efficiency rather than merely providing a performance boost.
The Transit Custom PHEV features an advanced hybrid powertrain system that targets a zero-emission driving range of 30 miles, and uses the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine as a range extender for a total range exceeding 300 miles. The Transit Custom PHEV can be charged using a domestic 240 volt 10 amp power supply, achieving full charge in five hours, or a commercial 240 volt 16 amp or 32 amp supply, which can bring the pack to full charge in three hours for quick turnaround times. This is all achieved without any loss of load space making the electric Transit as practical as any other van in the range but drastically improving running costs and emissions. It should also save you money on congestion charges should you happen to operating in an area that applies them.
If you're more interested in the latest technology to help streamline your operations then Ford has that covered too.
As part of their strategy to expand connectivity across the entire commercial vehicle range, Ford is offering FordPass Connect on-board modem technology for the new Transit. This enables fleet operators to track and monitor vehicles and optimise running costs through solutions like the new Ford Telematics and Ford Data Services products that are also launching in 2019.
The on-board modem in the Transit enables a range of features to be accessed via the FordPass mobile app to make the vehicle experience easier and more productive for owner-drivers and fleet drivers alike. You can keep up to date with real time traffic updates, monitor the vehicle condition from tyre pressures to service intervals, and after-market conversions and accessories can now access data from the Transit's electrical systems via a new Upfitter Interface Module that could be used to interface with existing logistics solutions. The new Transit range also offers Ford's MyKey system which allows fleet managers to program the key to limit driver's speed and radio volume, and to permanently switch on active safety features.
Add in a range of safety and comfort features usually found in Ford's car range and the Transit enters a class of its own. Blind spot monitoring that can work in conjunction with a trailer up to 10 metres long, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, wide-view cameras, parking assist, and - for the first time in a Transit - selectable drive modes; Eco Mode, Slippery Mode, Mud/Rut Mode for all-wheel drive models and Tow/Haul Mode for smooth power delivery when towing large trailers or boats that weigh more than the vehicle kerb weight.
As we said earlier the exact benefits available to your business will depend on the size and scope of your operation. But we can probably ignore all of that because we suspect it doesn't really make that much difference what you do, the Ford Transit is likely to be all the van you need.
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