The trial – which was supported by £4.7m grant from the government-funded Advanced Propulsion Centre – consisted of 20 Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans covering 240,000 km (150,000 miles) over a 12-month period in London.
One of Ford’s vehicles was used by Interserve’s commercial vehicle fleet, which consists of 1,800 vehicles. The van has been used as part of Interserve’s fleet supporting the Support Services, Communities Business Unit Metropolitan Police contract.
Cliff Lewis, Interserve’s Group Fleet Director, said: “It’s clear that hybrid and electric vehicles are key to meeting carbon emission targets and provide cleaner air. Interserve is therefore proud to be one of the businesses that Ford approached to test this vehicle because we are committed to achieving a sustainable future.
“Historically the problem has been that powering a 3.5 tonne van with an electric motor quickly runs down the battery and so testing this vehicle’s efficiency is helping to resolve that issue.
“We already run smaller electric vehicles on our Sussex University contract among others, where the logistics of operating on a campus make business sense.”
During the trial, Ford found that 75 per cent of the fleet’s mileage in central London and 49 per cent in greater London was completed using pure electric power.
Mark Harvey, director of Ford’s Urban Electrified Van programme, said: “Emissions-free mobility is essential for the future of our cities.”