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Ford Transit Custom PHEV vans to automatically switch to electric in CAZs

New geofencing technology in the Ford Transit Custom Plug-in Hybrid will automatically switch the van to emission-free electric mode in controlled zones such as Clean Air Zones – bringing air quality benefits.

The Ford Transit Custom PHEV’s geofencing can support clean air work by automatically engaging electric mode

Introduced as a growing number of UK cities look into Clean Air Zones, the technology makes use of live location data, picking up on predefined areas such as CAZs, congestion and low‑emission zones, ensuring fleet operators can play their part in air quality measures.

Fleets can also make use of the technology to create custom “green zones” to encourage low-emission driving around locations such as schools, playgrounds and warehouses.

It can also detect when the vehicle leaves a controlled zone, automatically switching to the most appropriate drive mode to complete the next leg of the journey – for example, engaging the onboard EcoBoost petrol engine to generate electric power and extend the vehicle’s range.

And, when the vehicle leaves a controlled zone, it can automatically switch to the most appropriate drive mode to complete the next leg of the journey – for example, engaging the onboard EcoBoost petrol engine to generate electric power and extend the vehicle’s range.

The encrypted data from the Geofence module in the Transit PHEV can then be securely shared with local authorities to confirm compliance with low-emission zone regulations and vehicle charging schemes.

The research comes after a study by a 12-month trial of Ford vans found its plug-in hybrid vans could achieve around 75% of urban mileage on full electric power in real-world conditions.

Carried out among a number of major fleets including Heathrow Airport, Sky, Speedy Hire, Transport for London and Vodafone, the trial of 20 Ford Transit plug-in hybrid vans, the trial found that 75% of Central London mileage was driven on electric power alone while 49% in Greater London was completed using pure electric power.

Similar studies are now taking place in Cologne, Germany and Valencia, Spain.

Mark Harvey, director, commercial vehicle mobility, Ford of Europe, said: “Improving the quality of air – and quality of life – in our towns and cities is a goal that we all have a responsibility to drive towards. The Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid and its new geofencing feature helps our customers to make a real contribution to that goal without compromising on efficiency or productivity.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.