Improving air quality in the city is a goal that is more relevant than ever, and transportation for both individuals and businesses will have to adapt to reduce their impact on the environment.
Faced with these challenges, Ford is introducing a new technology that allows its latest plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles to operate in 100% electric mode, automatically as soon as they enter pre-defined areas.
Thanks to a geofencing function (real-time geolocation), the Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid utility is able to automatically switch to 100% electric mode, as soon as it enters specific areas such as traffic jams, low-emission zones (LEFs), near schools or in professional warehouses.
Of course, the 100% electric mode will only be activated if the battery is sufficiently recharged to allow it to function.
These “green zones” are predefined on mapping, but it is also possible to create new custom zones. By leaving these areas, the vehicle can then automatically switch back to a more appropriate driving mode, for example using the thermal engine in order to benefit from greater battery life while recharging its battery.
Improving air quality
While the implementation of EPZs (or Low Emissions Zones) is still debated in France, Ford is currently conducting studies in London in the United Kingdom, Cologne in Germany, or Valencia in Spain. The U.S. automaker concluded that hybrid vehicles capable of electric driving could help improve urban air quality.
In fact, 75% of the distance travelled in the city by the study participants was in 100% electric mode, thus helping to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles in urban areas.
This new geofencing feature will be available from fall 2020 on the Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid, but will also eventually be available on other ford models, be it commercial or private vehicles.
This will enhance the attractiveness of the blue oval commercial vehicles, which also now benefit from standard 4G connectivity.