Ford Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid gets mild hybrid power

  • New mHEV technology for Ford’s Fiesta-based van
  • Promises to save fuel and boost performance
  • Replaces the diesel engine in the Fiesta Van line-up

Ford is updating the Fiesta Van range with a new mild hybrid (mHEV) version of the 125hp EcoBoost turbo petrol engine. Called the Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid, this adds a sophisticated starter-generator in place of the standard alternator, plus a small extra battery pack, and promises to help the van return better fuel economy.

A similar system is already available on the Ford Transit and Transit Custom. The arrival of the new engine technology in the Fiesta Van coincides with the end of production of the diesel version.

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How does the Fiesta Van’s mild hybrid system work?

By replacing the alternator with a belt-driven integrated starter-generator (BISG) and a new 48-volt electrical system, the EcoBoost Hybrid is able to recover energy that would otherwise be lost when the van is slowing down.

Ford Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid - rear view, load door open, 2020

This is then stored in an air-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, for use to either power the Fiesta Van’s electrics, or give a small amount of assistance to the engine – as either a fuel-saving or performance boosting measure. It cannot run on electric power alone, however.

The mHEV – which stands for mild hybrid electric vehicle – technology also works as a super-keen stop-start system. In that it can switch the engine off when coasting at speeds less than 15mph, rather than having to wait until the van is at a standstill.

Add all this to the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine’s existing ability to deactivate one of its three cylinders whenever its full capability isn’t required, and you can understand why Ford thinks this can challenge diesel power for use in a small van around town.

Ford Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid - load area, 2020

There is no impact on the 1.0-cubic metre load area of the Fiesta Van, while payload for the new hybrid model is rated at 531kg.

Can it really challenge diesel?

Well, the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel version of the Fiesta Van that the EcoBoost Hybrid replaces only mustered 85hp, so the EcoBoost has always been more fun to drive – if that’s important in a van.

What the EcoBoost Hybrid can’t offer is quite the same level of long-distance fuel economy. Based on the equivalent testing, the diesel claimed 80.7mpg, while the EcoBoost Hybrid claims 68.8mpg. That’s under the old NEDC standard; using the latest WLTP test, the petrol drops to a more realistic 55.3mpg.

Ford Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid - cab interior, 2020

That said, around town the petrol should still prove pretty efficient – diesels are generally fond of short, stop-start journeys. It’s also hard not to notice that some cities are proceeding with new ultra-low emissions zones and even planning to ban diesel altogether in the not too distant future, so a modern, efficient petrol engine in a small van does make sense.

Is the EcoBoost Hybrid the only Fiesta Van available?

A non-Hybrid petrol using the same 125hp EcoBoost turbo engine continues alongside the new mHEV model.

This returns 54.3mpg WLTP – meaning the mHEV tech is worth a whole 1.0mpg. Ford doesn’t usually charge very much for it, though, and you may find that in stop-start real-world traffic the difference is greater.

Ford Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid - street view, 2020

We hope to find out as soon as we get the chance to test the new model.

When does the Fiesta Van EcoBoost Hybrid go on sale and how much does it cost?

The new hybrid version of the Fiesta Van is set to go on sale in the UK in August 2020 – prices will be confirmed nearer this time. We’ll update you as soon as they’ve been announced.

Also read:

>> Our main Ford Fiesta Van review

>> Find a Fiesta Van for sale near you

>> Best hybrid vans

>> New vans coming soon