The E-Transit is almost identical to the regular Ford Transit externally, but those with a keen eye will notice the new rear coil springs (replacing the leaf springs on diesel vans) and the motor when behind one on the road.
Inside, it’s a different story, due to the addition of the 12.0in touchscreen from the Mustang Mach-E. It will run Ford’s Sync 4 connectivity system to give infotainment, sat-nav, over-the-air updates and a range predictor that factors in weather and traffic data.
The Transit has always handled like a van half its size and it’s better still in EV form. With the battery bolted under the chassis (rather than between the rails), it feels stabler and it’s enhanced further by the rear coils.
Then there’s the power: it feels more than fast enough with the entry-level motor, while the 265bhp one has the potential to cause upsets in races away from the traffic lights.
Fleet managers will therefore be pleased to learn of Eco mode, which limits the power to improve range. In Normal mode, it’s punchy and entertaining, while Slippery adds a sensible safety net by adjusting the traction control and power delivery.
The E-Transit is unquestionably well balanced and entertaining to drive – perhaps the best in Ford’s van range. It does feel a bit sterile, but that’s merely a reflection of its quietness, rather than a criticism.
Ford’s approach to regenerative braking is also slightly different from rivals’. An ‘L’ button within a dial on the dashboard gives full regen, which is strong enough to make the E-Transit a real one-pedal machine, or you can use the brake pedal and adjust the regeneration with a single or double tap, giving moderate and then L-mode levels of retardation. It is a bit convoluted and would probably be better as a steering wheel-mounted control but still works well.
You can almost get two Transits for the price of one E-Transit, but that shouldn’t be held against the EV, as it’s notably cheaper, more powerful and rangier than its most obvious rival, the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter.
The added benefits of solutions like Pro Power Onboard – a power supply of up to 2.3kW to run tools, lights or fridge units without the need for a generator – and the bird’s-eye view of the van’s surroundings on that huge screen will only add to the appeal.