Ford of Europe scored a unique 1-2 in the International Van of the Year Award 2020 (IVOTY) competition in securing the prestigious title for 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 were in contention for the long-running annual prize – 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.
“Since the competition’s inception in 1992, Ford of Europe has now won the IVOTY Award six times, the first 2001 with the Ford Transit and in 2003 with the Ford Transit Connect. In 2007 the Ford Transit was successful again with the inaugural Ford Transit Custom winning in 2013 with the Transit Connect taking the honours again the following year. Now it’s the turn of the Transit Custom Hybrids to enjoy the glory,” explained Jarlath.