Why not a Hybrid Transit Full-Size? - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 12:50:AM Thread Starter
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Question Why not a Hybrid Transit Full-Size?

After reading the disappointing gas engine numbers for both the 3.7L and 3.5L EcoBoost engines (an identical 14 city/19 hwy), I was thoroughly under-whelmed, especially seeing as the E150 gets 13 city/16 hwy with its most "fuel efficient" (Ha!) engine option.

Further, the numbers state that they were done in a medium-roof trim. I'm almost certain that the numbers would be even more under-whelming in the high-roof and extended-length trim.

So I wonder, why has Ford not explored and provided for sale a SFE (Super Fuel Efficiency) package? Something like a 1.0L-2.0L 3 or 4 cylinder diesel, paired with some kind of battery-hybrid system?

I'd guess that such a system, especially if it was only used to generate power for the hybrid system, instead of driving the vehicle directly (unless under extreme strain, like the Chevy Volt's setup) could provide stunning (for a full-size van, that is) fuel economy numbers.

Imagine something like 30 MPG in city and highway driving!

The Transit certainly has the space and load capacity to accommodate a reasonably large battery pack and hybrid drive-train, and electric motors have loads of torque, so in theory, towing capability would not be sacrificed.

Last edited by SweetBearCub; 06-26-2014 at 12:55:AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 01:15:AM
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I'm guessing because most will be used as business tools and hybrids have not reduced the total cost of use per mile.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 09:14:AM
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Originally Posted by SweetBearCub View Post
.....cut.....

I'd guess that such a system, especially if it was only used to generate power for the hybrid system, instead of driving the vehicle directly (unless under extreme strain, like the Chevy Volt's setup) could provide stunning (for a full-size van, that is) fuel economy numbers.

Imagine something like 30 MPG in city and highway driving!

....cut.....
Would 30 MPG be realistic with a Volt-type drivetrain?

The Volt is rated 37 MPG combined when running on gasoline, while the almost identical Cruze is rated at 30 MPG with gasoline engine, or 31 MPG with Eco package. Diesel does better.

So it seems the Volt gives up passenger and luggage space to increase mileage by approximately 20 percent.

If the Transit is rated 16 MPG combined, and a hybrid system like the Volt's added 20 percent to mileage, then it would be around 20 MPG, not anything near 30 MPG.

Also keep in mind a loaded Transit will weigh twice as much as a Volt or even more, so the engine required to operate the vehicle would have to be in 3 liter range.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-26-2014, 11:31:PM
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Originally Posted by SweetBearCub View Post

So I wonder, why has Ford not explored and provided for sale a SFE (Super Fuel Efficiency) package? Something like a 1.0L-2.0L 3 or 4 cylinder diesel, paired with some kind of battery-hybrid system?
.
Because it would be astronomically expensive, would dramatically reduce payload, and they would sell about three of them.

If ford decides to federalize their global 2.2L diesel, that would be your best bet...but I wouldn't hold your breath.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 01:49:PM
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I always thought this would be a good idea and it still is.
Governments should really make a push to get trucks and bigger vehicles to hybrid and electric systems.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 05:11:PM
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I'd be a bit worried that the extra weight would be a bad thing for the Ford Transit. There are electric and hybrid work vans though, so its not totally out of the realm of possibilities.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 06:20:PM
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I think the government needs to stay right out of this. We don't need them artificially creating demand leading to yet another disaster. Remember their involvemnt in solar panels, solyndra ring a bell?

They tried to goose EV production and allt hey get are garbage compliance cars like the 500e. Let the demand come from the actual market its the only way to get a great product...
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2014, 11:53:PM
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I always thought this would be a good idea and it still is.
Governments should really make a push to get trucks and bigger vehicles to hybrid and electric systems.
My 2 cents: I think the overall process is more effective when the government sets broad goals and doesn't get involved directly in choosing winners. Engineers should have the freedom to explore all potential solutions instead of having them dictated by government.

What if it turns out that hybrids and/or electrics are not the best technology long term? I prefer the government set a broad goal like vans must get 30 MPG average in 10 years (or something similar in scope) and then let engineers and the free market fight it out to see who comes up with best viable vehicles. I expect the best applicable technology could vary greatly over time.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-30-2014, 02:57:PM
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Well it's not for the new transit but one would think they'd eventually come up with something for them....

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2014, 04:14:PM
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We already have CAFE in place which (IMHO), is too aggressive as it stands. Diesel engines as a whole went from extremely reliable to problem-plagued because of the EPA essentially requiring the DPF and DEF systems. It would be nice if the government laid off the US auto industry a bit, unless they want car companies to follow the steel industry and move to China for their manufacturing. (Volvo has started doing this, and Honda has their Fit coming from there as well.)

Instead, the government needs to place money in R&D on one key effort: Energy density by volume, secondarily, energy density by weight, and thirdly, rate of charge (supercaps use a physical, rather than chemical process of storing electricity, so they can be charged as fast as the wire allows.) If we get batteries within an order of magnitude of gasoline, that changes everything -- vehicles can be all electric, even the larger ones.

Right now, hybrids are a nice effort, but until we get battery energy density up there, they will have issues in all but the lightest vehicles. GM has tried twice to sell a Silverado hybrid, and it didn't do well.
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