Ford will supply Sky engineers with 151 Transit Custom PHEVs this year to contribute to the company’s net zero carbon drive.
Only four months after the vehicle’s UK introduction, Sky has selected the UK’s first one-tonne van with plug-in hybrid technology for zero-emission driving as part of its commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030 – two decades ahead of the government’s target.
Neil Wilson, Ford fleet director, said: “Our new plug-in Ford Transit works for businesses driving in towns because its development included input and learnings from city-based fleets including Sky.
“They had one of the 20 prototypes Ford loaned 17 London fleets in total, to understand real-world usage by collecting data on the test vans’ performance. I’m delighted that this early access impressed Sky enough for Ford to win this important and valued order.”
As a result of the 12-month trial – which gathered 16 terabytes of data from 150,000 miles travelled, 1,800 battery charges and over 70% of journeys in London completed in electric mode – a geofencing feature specified on all vehicles by Sky was made available.
The geofencing module automatically switches the vehicle to electric mode when entering a low-emission zone, or any other area specified for zero-emission driving. The technology, which can be retrofitted, ensures that businesses comply with regulations and avoid charges or penalties.
Jeremy Darroch, Sky group chief executive, said: “This is an exciting move towards our Sky Zero commitment to be net zero carbon by 2030. The arrival of these Ford Transit plug-In hybrid vans means we are cutting emissions today, while working towards finding 100% electric solutions for tomorrow.
“The great strength of our business is its ability to adapt to change, and responding to the growing climate emergency is no exception. We want to work with suppliers and the government to speed up the transition to net zero fleets and ensure we have a strong charging infrastructure across the country.”
The Ford Transit Custom PHEV, which is eligible for the Plug-in Van Grant contributing 20% of the purchase price up to £8,000, has a zero-emission range of 35 miles, while operating with a full load and carrying the ladders required by Sky for most installations. The new additions deliver Sky a CO2 reduction of 90g/km, which is a CO2 saving of 60%, and will be assigned to low-mileage Sky customer engineers. The van’s battery pack is located under the load floor, preserving the full 6.0m3 cargo volume offered by the standard van.
Each van will debut the eye-catching new Sky Zero branding publicly to spread the campaign’s message across the country, encouraging others to #GoZero. Through its Sky Zero strategy, Sky will be making all its tech products more energy efficient, developing the world’s most sustainable film and TV studios and make every Sky original production, TV channel and film net zero carbon by 2030.