Among the bounty of big news from the Blue Oval today, the company announces a fully electric Transit for 2021 and plug-in hybrid, eight-seat Tourneo Custom to arrive before the end of the year. The automaker sees them as an option for European businesses that want to ensure their ability to access city centres as more places introduce congestion charges.

Unfortunately, Ford doesn't offer many details about the electric Transit. The van will be available in multiple body variants, and it'll retain a high load capacity, according to the Blue Oval.

2019 Ford Tourneo Custom PHEV

The company offers far more info about the Tourneo Custom PHEV, though. Ford's 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine serves as a generator for the 13.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. The electric range is just 31 miles, but the combustion engine boosts the total range up to 311 miles.

2019 Ford Tourneo Custom PHEV

Drivers can decide how to use the electric power by selecting from multiple driving modes. For example, EV Now only uses the battery; EV Later retains the electric power for use elsewhere; EV Charge optimises the system for keeping the battery topped up. There are also tweaks to the instruments for displaying the hybrid system's status, selected driving mode, battery life, and charge level.

2019 Ford Tourneo Custom PHEV

On the inside, the Tourneo Custom PHEV has as much space as the combustion-powered version because the batteries are under the floor. The modular seating arrangement can transform to let occupants sit face to face. 

Ford's made several other electrified vehicle announcements, today. For example, the Explorer gets a plug-in hybrid variant combining a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 an electric motor. In addition, the 2020 Kuga is available as a standard hybrid with 148 bhp and PHEV variant with 222 bhp. 

Gallery: Ford Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid

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Ford announces first-in-class Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid. Innovative people-mover designed to reduce local emissions; able to enter ultra-low-emission vehicle zones
Plug-In Hybrid can be charged using mains electricity for targeted 50 km (31 mile) zero-emissions range, or 500 km (310 mile) range using 1.0-litre EcoBoost range extender

Electrified powertrain requires no compromise to generous interior space. Versatile people-mover offers eight seats and unique-to-segment conference seating 

Customer deliveries of Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid to start in late 2019

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, April 2, 2019 – Ford today delivered the global public debut of the Tourneo Custom people-mover with an innovative new plug-in hybrid powertrain at a special “Go Further” event in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Combining zero-emission driving capability and no range anxiety, the spacious eight-seat Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid will be 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. 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. *

Like the diesel powered Tourneo Custom, the Plug-In Hybrid model retains the unique-to-segment ability to arrange the two rear rows in conference format for outstanding access and enhanced interaction between passengers – or in two rows of three seats facing forward.

“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.”

Following the launch of the new Tourneo Custom at the start of 2018 – with an all-new premium interior and stylish new front-end design – Ford sold 17,100 Tourneo Custom people-movers during the year, a 28 per cent increase compared with the previous year.

Zero emissions. Zero range anxiety

The new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration in which the front wheels are driven by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine. The compact, liquid-cooled battery pack is located under the floor of the passenger compartment, and is carefully positioned to preserve the generous interior space offered by the 2.0-litre EcoBlue-powered Tourneo Custom.

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 Charge utilises 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.

Luxury, refinement and connectivity

Available in upscale Titanium specification, the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid has been engineered to provide superior levels of refinement and comfort. Premium standard equipment includes Ford’s voice-activated SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, featuring an 8-inch colour touchscreen that can be controlled with pinch and swipe gestures, and delivering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™ compatibility free of charge.

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.