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Van of the Year 2021: Electric Van - Best for Practicality
Practicality isn't just about load space or carrying capacity; while the Ford Transit Custom PHEV does all that, it also offers greater versatility than its all-electric rivals...
WINNER: Electric Van - Best for Practicality
Ford Transit Custom PHEV
Priced from £39,145 MPG 91.7mpg (35 miles of electric range) CO2 emissions 70-81g/km Load space 6m3 Payload 1130kg Power 123bhp Torque 262lb ft
When it comes to practicality we often think about how much load space a van provides, how much weight it can carry and what the longest load length it is capable of moving.
The Ford Transit Custom scores well in all those respects. It offers more than one tonne of payload capacity and a maximum load length of 2921mm that can be extended to 3404mm with a load-through bulkhead, and there’s a choice of body sizes to suit every need.
But where the Ford Transit Custom PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid) differs from some of its electrified competition is that it retains all of the capability of its combustion-engined brethren without any major compromises beyond the significantly higher asking price.
Where the fully electric opposition’s versatility over a conventional equivalent is typically hampered by a need to plan journeys around opportunities to charge and how long that will take, the Ford Transit Custom PHEV is able to combine the cost and environmental benefits of electricity with the freedom of being able to travel long distances where necessary.
Used smartly, its 35 miles of electric range can significantly boost fuel efficiency on longer journeys, or can allow a driver to travel to the outskirts of a big city using the engine before switching to electric power, potentially skipping congestion charges in the process.
We would suggest, though, that buyers make sure they can take full advantage of the benefits of hybrid power by weighing up if the full life ownership costs are better against either a combustion-engined or fully electric equivalent.
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