It’s A New Era For The White Van Man

By Jeremy Taylor & Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby

2 weeks ago

The Ford E-Transit is a top of the range van – and it's electric, too


Forget ‘white van man’ – the electric Ford Transit is also available in grey and many other colours! Motoring editor Jeremy Taylor and sustainable fashion expert Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby keep on truckin’…

Visit The C&TH Cars Hub

Review: Ford E-Transit

Jeremy in the Ford E-Transit

J-TP – Let’s cut to the chase here – we love a van. Mainly because it’s the sort of vehicle that does what it says on the tin. No-nonsense, practical and these days, surprisingly comfortable on the long haul.

JT – You’re right there. The Transit has been delivering the goods since 1965. While Ford has killed off many models over the years – Fiesta, Cortina, Capri to name but a few – the Transit remains ever-present. No wonder it’s been labelled the ‘backbone of Britain’. This could be the ideal battle bus for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour!

And the all-electric model is the future. Our High Roof version swallowed enormous amounts of stuff, while the 68kWh battery offers a range of up to 244 miles around town and some 156 miles elsewhere. However, don’t expect that on a cold day in the winter with a heavy pallet of bricks onboard.

The van against a blue sky

I know we enjoyed the Volkswagen ID. Buzz Cargo the other week, but the Transit is really a more practical vehicle all-round. OK, it isn’t a head-turner like the VW but the Ford is equally as good to drive and has a huge load area by comparison.

Well, neither is cheap. Our 269PS Transit 350 Trend is £56,000 on the road, plus VAT. Add on a few must-have options, like the digital rear-view mirror and distinctive grey paint and it easily tops £60,000.

You could argue that E-Transit is the most important new EV out there. Considering all vans will have to be electric in 10 years’ time, Ford can’t afford to mess the electric version up.

The key factors for company van owners are price and range. Admittedly, the E-Transit isn’t cheap and for longer distances, the limited range will be an issue. However, as the majority of Transits will likely spend their life in an urban environment, range won’t matter. Plus, EV prices will fall more in line with combustion engine vans at some point in the near future.

The Ford E-Transit on charge

The only clue that this is an electric van is a line of blue trim on the grille – that, and a lack of exhaust pipe. The charge point is also on the front grille, while the cables are stored under the passenger seats.

That’s three seats, like a standard Transit. Our Trend model had a lot of kit you would find in a normal car. The most useful are air conditioning, a multi-function, 12-inch touchscreen with navigation, plus heated windscreen with auto headlights and wipers.

We did actually have a chance to fill up our van, too, ferrying a bed around. There is the option of sliding doors on both sides, while loads can be tied down with a series lashing points. Choose from two heights and three different load lengths to suit your needs.

The Ford will cram in 1,758kg of goods in high-roof format, while another option is a Power Pro Onboard, for £1,150 extra. No, not a travelling electrician but a pair of three-pin household sockets in the back for powering tools and the such-like.

The rear of the Ford E-Transit

Whether white van man will approve of the E-Transit is anybody’s guess. However, an EV is cheaper to service than a diesel van, plus this one comes with a 60,000 mile/three-year warranty for extra peace of mind.

Oh, and if you are wondering if your car licence lets you drive a van – it does!

DISCOVER

Discover more about the Ford E-Transit at ford.co.uk

Jessica Talbot-Ponsonby is Director of Programmes at London College of Fashion, studying for a PhD in sustainable e-textile design.