Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid represents the next, imminent, step in the development of American PHEV technology. Announced at the last Go Further, the event that anticipates the Oval's novelties, the commercial vehicle promises 50 kilometers of electric power, unfortunately declared according to the NEDC cycle.
But the numbers of autonomy are not the fulcrum of the experimentation project that arrived in Cologne after London and Valencia, rather the application of technologies known in the technological world, the Blockchain made famous by Bitcoin and crypto currencies in general and the geofencing seen often on satellite alarms, to the study of electric mobility.
The idea of Ford is simple: through five municipal fleets and in collaboration with the institutions (the city of Cologne), 9 Transit Custom PHEV and a Tourneo Custom PHEV will be tested in real use situations, tracing the routes to maximize the kilometers to zero emissions traveled.
The Blockchain takes care of tracing the paths through chronological and permanent records and is joined to geofencing, the creation of a virtual boundary based on GPS data. By combining the two technologies and connecting the vehicle to the network (via FordPass Connect, an accessory already available on passenger cars and recently introduced on commercial vehicles), Ford aims to automate the use of electricity in the areas set up by the city for emission control (ULEZ ).
This allows not only to control emissions in centers or areas guaranteeing access to those who can also travel electrically in compliance with (real) zero emissions, but also to change zones and times eliminating the risk, on the part of drivers, of losing a warning sign or not knowing the specific ordinances for that city / time slot.
Imagining such a system applied to all cars, for example, even our Area C and Area B in Milan could benefit from this technology, allowing drivers to know in real time if their car can enter the restricted traffic area.
The experimentation will not only serve to adapt the use of the car to zero-emission areas but the data collected from similar initiatives are already part of a larger project to map the routes in order to establish the best places for the installation of charging stations. Finally, note that already in the spring of 2020 the geofencing module will be available (without Blockchain) for Transit Custom PHEV (new or already registered) that will be able to automatically switch to EV Now mode (electric only) at the entrance of a low emission zone.