Video: Is It a NIGHTMARE Charging the New Ford E-Transit? I Find Out So You Don’t Have To!

It's something more people will have to deal with in the near future

Once we finally got our hands on a Ford E-Transit, it proved to be mighty impressive with one caveat: charging was a pain.

Is Andre’s recent experience an issue with the van, or something else?

Andre had some bad luck with charging the Ford E-Transit van, but he was resolute in stating that it may have nothing, or little, to do with the van itself. To verify this, he went to three charge stations (with different chargers) in Boulder, Colorado. The point here is to see how the E-Transit and the chargers behave.

More on the Ford E-Transit, by the numbers

With 126 miles of maximum range, the E-Transit isn’t the ideal choice for a long-distance moving company. Although, we proved that long distance driving is possible, if a bit slow with charging stops. The electric van has a 68-kWh, 400V lithium-ion battery. It makes 198 kW, which is 266 horsepower, and up to 317 lb-ft of torque.

It’s a real work van, one that can hold between 275 and 543 cubic feet of cargo (depending on the body choice). The E-Transit has a max payload of 3,880 pounds, and up to 4,428 pounds on cutaway versions.

To save money, Ford used a lot of off-the shelf parts. The body and chassis, along with some internal components, are sourced from the internal combusted version. Ford used many of the electrical powertrain components from the Ford F-150 Lightening EV. The clever part is: driving characteristics of both the gas and EV van are very similar. That way, a driver can hop from one to the other without a huge learning curve issue.

The E-Transit’s base price is just over $49,500.

Today’s test

Andre drives through Boulder, CO looking for three chargers. We’ve charged lots of cars throughout the town, and some have garnered curious gazes. Driving this electric van (even with its large sticker telling everyone what it is), no one seemed interested in it. Basically, it’s as innocuous as the everyday, gas-powered van.

Charge Point Level 2 6.6-kW AC charging station: Other than Andre’s issue with getting his phone to work with Charge Point right away, the charger was easy to use, and worked as advertised. In 10-minutes he added nearly two-percent, which is on par. His only issue with the van is the lack of communication the vehicle has when charging. Some EVs have external/internal lights telling you its charge status, in some way.

EVgo Level 3 50-kW DC fast charging station: Andre used the CCS charger from EVgo. This charger is somewhat unique as it also has a CHAdeMO DC charge option. There were no problems for Andre, and he gained about 10-percent in about 10-minutes. So far, his charging experiences have been far more positive than before. Perhaps the one item Andre didn’t like is the way EVgo charges per minute ($.30), as he prefers to be charged for the power usage itself.

Electrify America 114-kW DC fast charging station: We’ve used Electrify America’s fast chargers many times. They are somewhat plentiful, and they provide a lot of juice, if you choose the right one. In about 20 minutes, Andre added about 38% to the charge with no issues. The van accepted all three chargers with no real issues.

All’s well that ends well, right? Well, there is a glitch in this video, but it has nothing to do with the van, or the chargers. Let’s see if you can find it. Please send your angry emails c/o “the editor.” Still, the video itself is a fun and informative watch.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.