Next-gen Ford Transit Custom on sale in 2023 – and it will be electric

  • First details of brand new Ford Transit Custom
  • Launching in 2023, it will come as a pure electric van
  • Diesel, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models will continue

Ford has confirmed the first official details of the next-generation Transit Custom, which is set to start production in the first half of 2023. What’s more, the new Transit Custom range will include a 100% all-electric van, as well as diesel, mild-hybrid diesel and plug-in hybrid variants.

The 2023 Ford Transit Custom will also form the basis of the next-generation Volkswagen Transporter, as well as a new Ford Tourneo Custom passenger vehicle.

What do we know about the new Ford Transit Custom so far?

Aside from the confirmation that there will be an electric Transit Custom for the next-gen model, Ford is remaining relatively tight-lipped – saying only where it will be built and that the electric version will exist alongside all of the powertrains currently offered, and not in replacement of them.

The news of an E-Transit Custom (as we expect the new model will be called, following on from its E-Transit big brother, which goes on sale in 2022) comes just a few weeks after Ford’s announcement in February 2021 that all of its commercial vehicles will be ‘zero-emissions capable’ by 2024.

By 2030, Ford expects ‘two-thirds’ of all its commercial vehicles sales to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid.

Presently, the only truly electrified version of the Transit Custom is the Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) – though you can also get a mild-hybrid diesel engines, these aren’t capable of driving on electric power alone.

Where will the new Transit Custom be made?

The 2023 Transit Custom will continued to be built by Ford Otosan – Ford’s joint-venture operation in Turkey – in Kocaeli, which it describes as ‘the home of the Ford Transit range’. It’s been the ‘global lead’ production centre for Transit models since 2004, accounting for around 85% of Transit family vehicle production since.

It’s also an extremely efficient, cost-effective production facility for Ford, and will only become more so when it starts building VW Transporters (based on the same technology) as well.

This should be good news for buyers, as the cheaper Ford (and VW) can build the vans, the more competitive the retail pricing should be. Something that’s becoming more and more important as we expect more and more technology and safety equipment included.

In December 2020, Ford Otosan announced a 2 billion Euro investment into Kocaeli, which will turn it into Turkey’s ‘first and only integrated production centre for the assembly of electric vehicles and batteries.’ Around 3,000 people will ultimately be employed there.

But while Turkey grabs the headlines here, development of new Ford commercial vehicles is still heavily dependent on work in Dagenham in the UK, where the diesel engines are produced – as well as Cologne in Germany, which produces transmissions.

Any info on the new Ford Transit Custom diesel?

All Ford has said so far is that the new Transit Custom will get 'advanced technology diesel engines', and that these will be produced in Dagenham, just as the current 2.0-litre EcoBlue engines are now.

By 2025, the plant in Turkey is expected to take around 60% of all the engines produced at Dagenham just for the new '1.0-tonne' vans (we don't yet know if this will include the Transporter, which may use VW engines), meaning the Transit still plays a big part in securing British jobs. Presently around 7,500 people are employed in the Ford engine factory.

What's more, with an enormous 30% of all the Transits produced in Turkey typically returning to the UK, the business between Ford and Ford Otosan accounts for 'more than 10% of the total trade volume between the UK and Turkey.' Blimey.

What’s this about Ford building Volkswagens?

This is all part of ‘Project Cyclone’ – a strategic alliance between Ford and Volkswagen to share the cost of development and production in many areas but particularly commercial vehicles.

Ford says the tie-up will also ‘enhance the customer experience by bringing more technologies to market, faster.’

The first fruit of the Ford-VW alliance will be the new Transit Connect, which will be based on the VW Caddy Cargo and is set to be unveiled in 2021; then in 2022 the new Ford Ranger and new VW Amarok are expected to appear – with Ford leading the development on these and the larger vans.

What’s Ford saying about the new Transit Custom?

Ford of Europe president, Stuart Rowley, made this statement as part of the announcement: ‘The next-generation Transit Custom range – including the all-electric versions – will strengthen Ford’s position as Europe’s number one commercial vehicle brand.

‘Transit Custom is the jewel in our commercial vehicle crown and key in our drive to grow our commercial vehicle business as we continue to create a sustainable, profitable Ford business in Europe rooted in an electrified future.’

We’ll bring you more details about the next-gen Ford Transit Custom as soon as we have them.

Also read:

>> Our current Ford Transit Custom review

>> Ford-VW alliance – all the details

>> Ford’s future electric van plans

>> Shots fired: how Ford plans to sell even more vans in the future

>> Future electric vans coming soon