The E-Transit Went to Ford’s Vehicle Boot Camp, Here’s What It Had To Endure

Ford E-Transit Cold Temperature Test 17 photos
Photo: Ford Motor Co.
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For three months, the upcoming Ford E-Transit has been subjected to some grueling durability tests. It soldiered on through intense heat, extreme cold, salt water, mud, and the worst road surfaces conceivable to prove that it’s ready to carry the trustworthy nameplate into the all-electric era.
We all know that every new vehicle is put through a series of tests before it hits the market, but what happens in the months leading up to the official release is rarely publicized.

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.

Ford E\-Transit Durability Tests
Photo: Ford Motor Co.
Both prototypes were exposed to the harsh winter conditions in Michigan during these tests where they racked up hundreds of miles on precarious roads. After that, they crossed the Atlantic, arriving at Ford’s Environmental Test Chamber in Cologne, Germany, where extreme heat, cold, and altitude were simulated. Finally, the two EVs made their way to the company’s Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium, where they were extensively driven through huge potholes and rough road surfaces.

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.

Ford E\-Transit Durability Tests
Photo: Ford Motor Co.
In Belgium, thousands of passes over specifically designed tracks full of bumps, potholes, and cobbles were performed, mimicking cobbled streets, or challenging unpaved roads from around the world.

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.

Ford E\-Transit Durability Tests
Photo: Ford Motor Co.
Throughout the entire process, the effects of more than 150,000 miles (240,000 km) of driving in the most grueling situations were simulated. Ford assesses that this figure should be attained in about ten years of use, which it states is the estimated lifespan of this commercial EV.

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.

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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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