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Ford announces an electric Transit van for Europe, to debut in 2021

Ford is upping its commercial vehicle game in Europe in a big way with new hybrid and electric vehicles and an advanced fleet management system called FordPass Pro.

FordPass Pro will let fleet managers see vehicle locations and statistics in real time.

Ford Europe

Pushing regular consumers toward electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is great and all, but when it comes to piling the miles on, it's hard to beat work vehicles.

That's why Ford of Europe is committing to bring an electric Transit van to market by 2021, alongside a PHEV model of its Tourneo van and some other features designed to help keep those commercial vehicles on the road and out of the dealership.

Ford announced its plans on Tuesday as part of its Go Further event in Amsterdam. Details on the 2021 Transit EV are scarce, but it did state that the vehicle would have a range aimed at city-based businesses. Based on that, we'd expect a range of sub-200 miles, but that's speculation.

Ford is already building an electric delivery vehicle with Germany's StreetScooter (notable for its work building DeutschePost DHL vans that Mercedes tried to swipe). These Work XL vehicles will get their first crack at the market outside Germany later this year.

The other sizable piece of news from the Go Further event was Ford's announcement that it would be targeting 100 percent uptime for commercial vehicles. This means that it will transition to a usage-based maintenance program that will be driven by a new app called FordPass Pro.

FordPass Pro draws on the connectivity capabilities of the current generation of Ford vehicles to allow more accurate fleet management. The system goes so far as to use real-time sensor data to help tailor an individual vehicle's service needs, so it would only go in when it needs to -- no more scheduled maintenance.

For now, all these commercial vehicle goodies are planned only for Ford of Europe, but we'd be excited to see them hop the pond, particularly in the case of the Transit EV.

Ford representatives didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.