The rest of the world was intimately familiar with the Ford Transit van before it first arrived on these shores from Europe in 2013, and then replaced the eternal E-Series of full-size cargo and passenger vans two years later. In the rest of the world, the Transit has long been an everyday sight, having first gone on sale in Great Britain and Europe in 1965. It’s been the Continent’s top-selling commercial vehicle of any sort for more than 40 years. More recently, it’s found an enthusiastic audience in North America, too, where it’s now the best-selling van of any kind in the United States, giving Ford a stunning 57 percent of that market. All that success notwithstanding, a major Transit update is in the offing.
Ford has just disclosed that for the 2022 model year, an all-electric Transit will join its U.S. model offerings, selling alongside the forthcoming electron-motivated Mustang Mach-E and F-150. The electric Transit will be assembled in the United States, and will comprise a sizable chunk of Ford’s investment of some $11.5 billion in electrifying its U.S. model lineup through 2022. Expect it to be based heavily on the all-electric Transit that’s already on sale in Europe. It’s fair to say that we tend to either take business-sector vehicles like this for granted, or ignore them entirely, which sadly diminishes their huge significance to the auto industry. In 2019, Ford sold more than 240,000 vans in the United States alone, and its domestic truck and van sales have swelled an amazing 33 percent annually just since 2015. So the Transit accounts for a sizable piece of Ford’s annual income. Whether you pay attention to it or not, Ford’s move to electrify its market-conquering van is very important news indeed.