Ford goes electric with Transit Van in Australia.


The Blue Oval will introduce its first battery-powered vehicle next year, but enthusiasts will have to wait for a machine capable of taking the fight to Tesla.

Ford is bucking the trend with its first electric car in Australia, delivering tradies a battery-powered Transit Van before taking on the likes of Tesla.

The Ford E-Transit is pitched as a way for businesses to replace diesel vehicles with battery-powered machines.

Powered by a 198kW/420Nm electric motor driving the rear wheels, the E-Transit has 68kWh of usable battery capacity that delivers 317 kilometres of range.

It has the same cargo capacity as regular Transit vans and can carry a 1616 kilogram payload.

A 14-inch tablet-style touchscreen with Ford’s fourth-generation “Sync” infotainment software makes for a modern cabin.

Australian Ford fans face an uncertain wait for the brand’s smash-hit Mustang Mach-E, with the brand unable to secure supply of the electric car for the foreseeable future.

Ford’s local arm outlined its “path to electrification” on Tuesday, locking in its first electric vehicle for introduction in 2022.

While mainstream rivals such as Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Mazda already sell electric passenger cars or plan to introduce them next year, Ford Australia cannot get its hands on the Mustang Mach-E.

The brand says its battery can be charged from 15 to 80 per cent capacity in 34 minutes.

Local prices for the model will be confirmed closer to its debut in 2022.

The news is great or corporate fleets, but a blow to private motorists shopping for an electric car.

Ford Australia has a long history of missing out on world-class cars.

Lately, those have included the F-150 Raptor performance ute and electric F-150 Lightning, the retro-cool Bronco four-wheel-drive, Maverick light ute, Ford GT supercar and high-performance Shelby Mustang variants.

Those cars are off-limits because they are only built in left-hand-drive, which isn’t the case for the Mach-E.

The blue oval’s breakthrough electric car is a family-friendly four-door model that costs about as much as a V8 Mustang, which would translate to a starting price of $70,000 or so in Australia.

Customers overseas can choose between 75kWh and 99kWh batteries bringing 450 to 610 kilometres of range.

Basic versions send 198KW and 430Nm to the rear wheels, resulting in a 6.9 second dash to 100km/h.

The range-topping Mustang Mach E GT has 358kW and 860Nm that translates to a 4.4 second figure, outsprinting the regular V8-powered coupe.

An enormous 15.5-inch touchscreen in the centre of the dashboard brings wireless charging and smartphone mirroring, voice-activated tech and clever touches such as a digital owners’ manual.

American models feature Ford’s “BlueCruise” hands-free driving assistant that allows drivers to hand control to the car on carefully chosen highways.

Unfortunately for Australia, the Tesla-fighting Mach-E is a victim of its own success.

Andrew Birkic, chief executive of Ford Australia, said the Mach-E has “just done incredibly well overseas”.

“The Mach-E is an incredible product and we are thrilled to have it in the Ford global lineup,” he said.

“What we do know is that basically, it is sold out … that’s the position that we are currently in.

“The vehicle will not be available in Australia.”

That may change in the future.

Ford plans to introduce five electrified vehicles by 2024, which will include the E-Transit and a hybrid version of its Escape SUV.

Representatives for the brand could not say what sort of vehicles will join them.

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