Ford has announced a new, plug-in hybrid model of its eight-seater Tourneo Custom people-mover (a sister model to its Transit Custom used as a base vehicle for many camper conversions). It combines zero-emissions driving capability without ‘range anxiety’, and will be able to enter ultra-low-emission vehicle zones when it is available to European customers from late 2019.
The first-in-class Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid is among the first models unveiled as part of Ford’s strategy to deliver one of the most encompassing line-ups of electrified options for European customers. The vehicle can be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission driving – contributing to reduced local emissions and allowing the eight-seat people-mover to enter the growing number of ultra-low-emission vehicle zones being introduced across Europe.
The Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid’s front wheels are driven exclusively by an electric motor/generator, powered by a 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor of the passenger compartment. Ford’s multi-award-winning 1.0‑litre EcoBoost petrol engine acts as a range extender, working alongside regenerative braking enabled by the motor/generator to recharge the battery. The advanced hybrid powertrain targets a zero-emission driving range of up to 50 km (31 miles) or 500 km (310 miles) using the range extender. *
“Uniquely innovative and flexible, the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid can adapt to an unparalleled variety of use cases, giving owners and operators the advantage of being able to drive in ultra-low-emissions zones and still cover the same ground between battery charges as a traditionally-powered people-mover,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. “Whether delivering executive shuttle services or ferrying large families, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid will offer comfort and refinement while also contributing to improved local air quality in busy urban environments.”
Since the launch of the new Tourneo Custom at the start of 2018, Ford has sold 17,100 Tourneo Custom people-movers, a 28 per cent increase compared with the previous year.
Four selectable EV modes enable the driver to choose how and when to use the available battery charge:
- EV Auto is intended to provide the optimum blend of performance and efficiency. The vehicle’s control algorithms monitor battery energy levels and the current driving scenario – such as whether motorway or stop-start driving – to decide whether to activate the range extender
- EV Now prioritises usage of stored battery energy, deactivating the range extender until battery levels reach a minimum state of charge for emissions-free driving
- EV Later prioritises the range extender and leverages regenerative charging to most efficiently maintain the current level of battery charge, ready for later use
- EV Chargeutilises the range extender to top up the battery for when further EV Now travel is needed
Using a charging port located within the front bumper, the Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid can be charged using a domestic 240-volt 10-amp power supply to achieve full charge in 5.5 hours, or using a commercial 240-volt 16-amp or 32-amp supply to achieve full charge in 3 hours.
Drivers can also choose the degree of energy recovery and braking assistance afforded by the regenerative charging system by selecting either Drive or Low on the gear selector.
Releasing the accelerator pedal in Low-mode increases the vehicle’s programmed deceleration, automatically illuminating the brake lights when necessary to warn drivers behind. The greater deceleration increases the amount of kinetic energy recovered and stored in the battery, extending potential electric range.
Inside the cabin, a power/charge gauge replaces the standard rev counter, and a smaller gauge for battery state of charge replaces the engine coolant temperature indicator. Trip computer functions are configured specifically for the hybrid powertrain. EV mode indicators, maintenance alerts and a warning when the vehicle is plugged into a charging point, appear on the instrument display cluster. A status graphic displaying distance-to-empty for both the battery and range extender is visible on all screen displays.
Standard FordPass Connect on-board modem technology enables each occupant to benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity with the ability to support up to 10 devices. A range of features can be accessed via the FordPass mobile app to make the vehicle ownership and operating experience easier and more productive, including Vehicle Status, Vehicle Locator and Remote lock/unlock.
Active Park Assist is also offered, which helps steer the vehicle into and out of parallel and perpendicular parking spaces, while the driver controls acceleration and braking.
Ford continues to explore the positive effects that the use of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can have on cities, by running customer trials with prototype vehicles in London, U.K., to be followed by Cologne, Germany and Valencia, Spain later in 2019.
The company earlier this year announced that every Ford nameplate from the all-new Focus onwards will include an electrified option. This includes new nameplates and new versions of existing vehicles. From Fiesta to Transit, either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric option will be offered.