PRETORIA, South Africa – Ford is promoting cleaner air by ensuring its new breed of plug-in hybrid commercial vehicles operate in zero-emissions, electric‑only, drive in sensitive areas.
Its Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vans, using live location data, will automatically switch to electric drive as they enter predefined areas – perhaps congestion and low‑emission zones – to clean the air over city streets.
The appropriate drive mode to complete the next leg of the journey – perhaps engaging the vehicle’s EcoBoost petrol engine to generate range-extending electric power.
WATCH Ford’s Geofencing technology in action.
Low-emission zones are becoming common across Europe to help cities to manage the environmental effect of vehicles in urban areas.
”For instance,” the automaker says, ”in the first six months of the London Ultra-Low Emission Zone, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) – one of the most harmful pollutants from vehicles – were reduced by almost 30%.”
Ford has reckoned that hybrid-electric vehicles could help to improve urban air quality: 75% of kilometres driven in central London by volunteer companies – British Gas, Metropolitan Police, Transport for London – were completed in Transits’ zero-emission electric-only mode.
”Similar studies are now taking place in Germany and Spain.”
The Geofence module in Transit PHEV units record information about electric-only operation in geofenced areas to be later shared with local authorities to confirm compliance with low-emission zone regulations and vehicle charging schemes.