Charity drive in plug-in hybrid van the length of UK

Ford and Cox Automotive joined forces to drive a plug-in hybrid electric van (PHEV) from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity.

The partnership used a prototype of Ford’s new Transit Custom plug-in hybrid (PHEV) van and it was the first time a plug-in hybrid van has completed the entire length of the UK.

James Davis from Cox Automotive teamed up with Ford’s Stephen Wright on the six-day fundraiser that started on Sunday, 26 May and arrived at Land’s End on Friday 31 May.

The van, one of 20 pre-production prototypes currently in fleet evaluation, had its entire journey tracked and analysed.

To give clients and team members the chance to pore over Ford’s innovative new PHEV technology, the route took in five Manheim CV auction centres, as well as NextGear Capital’s Chester head offices.

The Ford Transit Custom PHEV also stopped off at ALD Automotive’s head offices in Bristol to celebrate the two organisations’ Ford Lease partnership.

Co-driver James Davis, director of customer insight and strategy at Cox Automotive, said, “Ford and Cox Automotive have enjoyed a long-standing global partnership. From an initial idea I’m so pleased to have developed this event with our friends at Ford. As well as raising awareness and experiencing this fantastic PHEV technology first hand, we’ll be raising money for Mind. I’ve suffered from mental health issues in my life, and in our male-dominated industry we really need to be able to talk and share.”

The Ford Transit Custom PHEV visited Manheim’s auction centres, at Shotts then moved on to Haydock, Shepshed and Bruntingthorpe and Gloucester before its journey end at Land’s End.

Dave Petts, of Take it to the Market Leader Urban Electrified Van (UEV) Programme at Ford, said, “This is a good test of our London Trials prototype vehicle and I’m looking forward to seeing the data generated from the run. The Transit Custom PHEV range extender gives zero emissions for city ULEZ and CAZ zones and the operational flexibility to be able to do this sort of run across the country without any range anxiety.”

If you want to donate to Mind visit the JustGiving page at: https://lnkd.in/eXZP3dH