Ford Transit Custom Van Faces Market Challenge Without Hybrid Options in Australia

Matt Brand
June 4, 2024
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Ford has introduced a new plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Transit Custom van in Europe, featuring a 2.5-litre petrol engine and a 56km electric driving range per the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).

However, this model is not slated for release in Australia, nor will there be a conventional hybrid variant similar to those found in Toyota's RAV4 or Camry.

Ford cites a lack of customer demand in Europe as the primary reason for this decision.

The absence of a hybrid option leaves the title of 'first hybrid van sold in Australia' still available, as no petrol-electric or diesel-electric vans are currently on the market in the region, despite their availability overseas.

Ed Correia, vehicle integration supervisor for the Transit Custom, indicated that from the beginning, only the PHEV model was considered to cater to European cities planning zero-emission zones, which would benefit from the vehicle's extended electric range.

Meanwhile, in the broader commercial vehicle market, Ford aims to challenge Toyota’s dominance with the Transit Custom.

Toyota's HiAce currently holds a significant share in the medium van segment in Australia.

Ford’s E-Transit Custom, an all-electric variant, is expected to compete later this year against models like the Peugeot E-Expert and Mercedes-Benz eVito in Australia's emerging electric van market.

Ford has not confirmed plans for a hybrid Transit Custom in Australia, focusing instead on the battery electric vehicle (BEV) model as the optimal solution for current market conditions.

Ford combines a petrol engine with an electric motor and an 11.8kWh battery in the Transit Custom PHEV, delivering a total output of 171kW and a claimed fuel consumption of 1.4L to 2.9L/100km in hybrid mode.

Despite the innovations in the European model, Australian consumers will have to wait for the electric variant to experience Ford's latest advancements in eco-friendly commercial transportation.

Matt Brand
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.

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