It turns out that the all-electric version of Ford’s popular cargo van has completed one such testing regime not long ago, and the manufacturer offers a glimpse at what the vehicle had to endure in a recent video that you can watch below.
Aiming to simulate the ten years’ worth of intensive use in just three months, two E-Transit cutaway and high-roof cargo van prototypes have experienced extreme climate and durability testing at the manufacturer’s high-tech facilities in Europe and the United States.
The Environmental Test Chamber can recreate temperatures higher than those recorded in the Sahara desert or colder than what we normally get during winter in the Siberian tundra.
Engineers analyzed the durability of the all-electric powertrain, battery liquid-cooling system, and the behavior of components and materials inside the cabin by subjecting the vehicle to over 104° F (40° C) for two weeks using 28 spotlights with 4,000-watt bulbs.
Immediately after this test was completed, the chamber was set to -31° F (-35° C) and an air pressure similar to what the van would encounter on Austria’s Grossglockner High Alpine Road, one of the highest paved roads in Europe. The E-Transit was kept there for another two weeks.
The durability of the battery pack, electric motor, and redesigned rear suspension were tested by repeatedly driving the two prototypes through mud and salt baths and saltwater sprays, simulating winter roads and low water crossings. These tests also validated the corrosion resistance of these components, as well as the bodywork.
The goal of this rigorous vehicle "boot camp" was to make sure that the E-Transit is as durable as its diesel-powered siblings which have become some of the best-selling commercial vehicles in the world, mainly because of their reliability.
The manufacturer also says that the vehicle’s readiness will be further analyzed through extensive customer trials in the supermarket, utility, and last-mile delivery sectors later this year.
As part of the Blue Oval’s growing all-electric lineup, the E-Transit will go on sale earlier next year with a range of 126 miles (203 km). The all-electric van is expected to be available in most parts of the world.