Ford of Europe scored a unique 1-2 in the International Van of the Year Award 2020 (IVOTY) competition securing the prestigious title for the sixth occasion with its range of Transit Custom Hybrids, comprising the Plug-In Hybrid and EcoBlue Hybrid models. Hans Schep, General Manager Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe was presented with the prize trophy at a Gala ceremony at Solutrans 2019 in Lyon, France on 20 November.
Voted by a select panel of European Commercial Vehicle editors and expert journalists from 25 countries, the new Ford Transit Custom Hybrids won the election comprehensively, scoring 97 points, with its nearest challenger (coincidently from its own stable) the new Ford Transit EcoBlue Hybrid in second place on 54 points. Third was the new Volkswagen Transporter T6.1. The other shortlisted models in contention for the long-running annual prize were the new Renault Master, latest Iveco Daily and Fiat Ducato models.
A very pleased Hans Schep commented on receiving the prize from Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman, International Van of the Year jury said: “We are very proud that the IVOTY jury has singled out our Transit Custom Hybrid range for this prestigious award. Van operators need practical and efficient electrified vehicles that are tailored to their business needs, and our new Hybrid Transits offer a range of solutions to suit different customer use cases.”
Jarlath Sweeney, Chairman IVOTY mentioned that Ford deserve great credit on going solo with its range of hybrid vans, including both Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) and diesel mild hybrid (mHEV) technologies: “The jury appreciated the direction that Ford has taken to develop a viable drivetrain alternative that meets both urban and rural requirements in a most eco-friendly fashion. Its Plug-in Hybrid system is zero emission capable, with no range anxiety, has no compromise on payload or load volume and has a simple recharging regime. Basically the technology is designed to run on electric power for city trips – to help improve local air quality. No other manufacturer has gone down this alternative route, as yet,” he said.