Ford unveils E-Transit electric cargo van
With new fleet-wide energy monitoring and vehicle management tools from Ford Commercial Solutions, available through easy-to-use app and web-based interfaces, Ford is helping European commercial fleets and businesses make a seamless transition to electric vehicles. These features will be available to E-Transit customers when the vehicle starts launching in spring 2022.
“Knowledge is power – and Ford is empowering commercial businesses by giving them the information they need to get the most out of their electric vehicles,” said Julius Marchwicki, chief operating officer, Ford Commercial Solutions. “Our new connected services and telematics-based offerings from Ford don’t just help fleets optimise the performance of their fleet and help improve the performance of their drivers – they help ensure businesses can stay focused on providing great service to their customers.”
With the new electric vehicle tools, fleet operators can monitor the performance of individual vans, manage energy usage and gain key insights into their performance. Using electric vehicle-specific data such as kWh consumption, charge speed, distance to empty and more, managers can better understand how they’re operating in real-time in order to help optimise running costs and uptime.
The new tools also enable remote cabin pre-conditioning, so fleet operators can set cabin temperatures while E-Transit is plugged in to optimise battery efficiency. 1 Alerts notify managers if a vehicle isn’t plugged in when it’s scheduled to be, while other tools let them remotely manage transactions for public charging and receive reporting to support reimbursement for employees who charge at home.
Along with electric vehicle-specific services, Ford Commercial Solutions is expanding its fleet management offerings to help European commercial vehicle customers better manage and optimise the efficiency of their fleets.
Helping to improve the performance of their drivers is top of mind for fleet operators, which is why Ford is introducing in-vehicle, real-time driver coaching through SYNC 4 2 voice assistant. Any time a driver exceeds a speed limit, rapidly accelerates, brakes harshly, leaves a diesel- or petrol-powered vehicle’s engine running while parked or fails to fasten a seatbelt, they will receive an in-car audio message asking them to correct their behaviour.
“We’ve heard directly from our customers how important driver coaching systems are to them,” said Marchwicki. “By integrating this service directly into our vehicles, businesses can better promote safe driving behaviour, optimise energy usage on their vehicles, and reduce wear and tear without installing extra hardware.”
Additionally, Ford Telematics 3 will enable customers to confidently secure and remotely monitor their vehicles after hours. New alerts will notify fleet operators if a vehicle is potentially being stolen, if it’s used without authorisation, if it’s being towed or even if it has been damaged while parked. If any of these events occur, GPS tracking also allows managers to see the location of their vehicles even when they are turned off.
Ford is also offering integrated Driver ID, giving managers an easy way to associate specific drivers with vehicles. By allowing drivers to enter a driver-specific code into the SYNC screen, fleet managers get an accurate record of which driver is using which vehicle. By associating a driver with a specific vehicle, managers could analyse performance metrics to potentially identify new coaching opportunities to help manage driver performance.
All of these features build on Ford Telematics’ existing offerings, which include GPS tracking and geofencing capabilities, vehicle health alerts, fuel and energy consumption data and more. Fleet operators can also now view and monitor key data from non-Ford vehicles directly through Ford Telematics alongside data from their Ford vehicles, allowing them to maximise uptime, plan maintenance, and deliver improved driver training without using multiple software solutions.
In addition. the new Ford Telematics Drive companion app can streamline time-consuming tasks for drivers and fleet managers. The app can help drivers report which vehicle they are driving, digitise daily vehicle checks, and report damage or mechanical issues directly to the fleet manager’s Ford Telematics system.
Beyond these new telematics-based services, Ford Commercial Solutions offers Ford Data Services, which provides manufacturer-grade data from vehicles for integration with proprietary software or existing authorised telematics providers, without the need for third-party plug-in devices.
Ford Commercial Solutions, a division of Ford, is dedicated to helping fleets improve their operational effectiveness by offering manufacturer-grade connected vehicle data and information verified by Ford engineers. When enabled by an activated FordPass Connect modem 4 – now embedded as standard on the majority of new Ford commercial vehicles in Europe – these connected solutions unlock available software subscriptions that help fleets manage their vehicles.