The most exciting electric vehicles in the world right now aren’t anything Tesla produces but are instead electric vans, given their potential to transform last-mile delivery. Ford’s E-Transit is among them, and the early returns seem good, as Ford said Wednesday that it has orders for at least 10,000.
Ford released the previously undisclosed numbers as part of some kind of event in Sonoma County, California that was meant to show that electric Fords are good for making wine, because the association between Ford and fine wine is so strong (or not). Anyway, the interesting part of all of this is the demand for the E-Transit, and, specifically, which configurations:
Demand for the electrified version of America’s best-selling van, 2022 E-Transit has been strong with more than 300 customers placing orders for more than ordering 10,000 vans. Businesses of all sizes ordered E-Transit, from one-man van operations to municipalities including the City of Orlando to some of the nation’s largest service providers and retailers like Walmart, which ordered more than 1,100 vans.
Customers have ordered all eight of E-Transit’s available configurations, including three roof heights and three lengths, plus the only all-electric van chassis cab and cutaway models. The high-roof, extended wheelbase configuration, affectionately referred to as the “jumbo” model, is the most popular. Representing 33 percent of the orders – including all 1,100 ordered by Walmart – this E-Transit has the most interior capacity and allows someone as tall as 6 feet 9 inches to stand upright, making it easier to move around and use equipment.
Making up 19 percent of the orders, the low-roof E-Transit is especially popular with customers in the telecommunications industry where workers take their vans home at night, because it can fit in many residential garages.
I initially scoffed at the 10,000 number, because, in almost any other segment, that would be a drop in the bucket, but, in fact, Ford sold just under 100,000 Transits last year in total, and 26,112 Transit Connects. Ten thousand, in that context, is a healthy start.