Ford’s 2023 E-Transit Minibus has finally arrived and is available to lease from Castle Minibus.

This 15 seat (14 passengers and driver) is Ford’s first electric commercial vehicle. The E-Transit van itself has already bagged the What Car 2023 awards for Overall Commercial Van, Best Electric Van and Best Large Van. Although these awards are not for the minibus specifically, the E-Transit Minibus is a variation of the commercial van designed to offer superior efficiency, comfort, and safety.

Ford E Transit minibus 15 seat

Ford E Transit 15 seat minibus

This article is designed to give you an insight into what you can expect from the Ford E-Transit electric minibus and whether it might be the best vehicle for your school or organisation.

More about the E-Transit 15-seater minibus

Based on the design of the best-selling Transit Van the E-Transit’s electric motor is in the rear of the van, which means the rear suspension has been completely revised. New crash structures have been developed to protect both the vehicle’s occupants and the battery pack.

With ample space and comfort for 14 passengers, the Ford E-Transit is an obvious contender for those looking for an electric minibus. We, at Castle Minibus consider it to be of better quality than the Renault Master E-Tech and it offers a much better driving range than the Mercedes-Benz eSprinter. Its closest contender at the moment is the Maxus eDeliver9 which we also have available to lease.

Award-winning safety features

The E-Transit has a 360 camera that shows you the world around you on the large 12” screen in the cab. Together with reverse break assist it makes reversing safer and easier, it will brake automatically if it detects something the driver hasn’t spotted.

Blind spot assist monitors for other vehicles entering your blind spot as you change lands. If the driver doesn’t respond to initial warnings it will gently steer you safely back into your lane.

These and other safety features meant the E-Transit was awarded the Euro NCAP Gold Award, Europe’s leading safety organisation.

Ford E Transit electric minibus safety features

Ford E Transit electric minibus safety features

How far will the E-Transit Electric Minibus travel on a single charge?

Driving range is always the biggest concern with electric vehicles. The range is dependent on several things:

  1. The payload (how heavy the vehicle is on that journey)
  2. The speed you drive at and the type of roads you’re driving on (urban vs countryside v motorways)
  3. The use of electrically powered features in the minibus such as heating or air conditioning

Taking all this into account the Ford E-Transit boasts an impressive mileage of up to 196 miles WLTP overall range and 166 miles for WLTP Extra High range motorway driving.

WLTP (Worldwide harmonised light vehicle test procedure) is the new standard of testing for fuel consumption for petrol and diesel cars, energy consumption for electric and hybrid vehicles, CO2 emissions, NOx emissions, and CO – carbon monoxide – emissions. The WLTP overall range is the average mileage for a vehicle across all road types.

Ford has also done a lot of its own testing to establish a ‘dependable’ real-world range of at least 100 miles. Dependable, as defined by Ford themselves,  means this range is achievable in any weather, with any payload using a battery that’s five years old.

If you have concerns about the mileage range then Ford has a handy E-Transit range calculator where you can enter your driving environment (motorway, urban, suburban, rural or mixed), the temperature outside, your payload and your tires.

How long will it take to charge?           

The time your vehicle takes to charge depends on the size of the battery in your vehicle and the speed of the charging unit. A 150kW charger will deliver electricity twice as fast as a 75kW charger because it is twice as powerful.

An easy rule to remember is to divide the capacity of your battery by the kW of the charger. The Ford E-Transit with a 68kW battery would take a little over half an hour to charge to 80% from a 115kW charge point or nine hours on a 7.4kw charger (68kW divided by 7.4kW = 9 hours).

You can charge your vehicle at your workplace, at home, or out on the road at a selection of charging points. We recommend you take advantage of the Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) and have a smart charger installed. It is the most cost-effective way of running your electric vehicle.

Read more about charging your electric vehicle

Ford E transit electric minibus charging

Ford E-Transit electric minibus charging

What if you’ve never driven an electric minibus before?

To help drivers make the most of their charge the Ford E-transit Minibus has a central touchscreen that gives you real-time feedback on how efficiently power is being used, and makes suggestions on how to improve efficiency – even offering spoken guidance for repeated or abrupt inefficiencies.

As there are no gears in an electric vehicle it is similar to driving an automatic. The ‘gear lever’ has been replaced with a rotary dial to control the single-speed transmission, and the manual electronic handbrake, activated by a switch below the steering wheel.

If you would like to arrange a demonstration with the E-Transit Minibus please give Castle a call on 01869 253744 or email

Can the E-Transit be driven on a standard car licence?

You will need D1 entitlement to drive the Ford E-Transit Minibus as it has a GVW of 4250kg. If your driving licence was issued before 1st Jan 1997 you will have inherited D1 (101) entitlement, but if you don’t have this you will need to complete D1 driver training. Alternatively, fuelled goods vehicles can be driven on a standard B licence up to 4250kg but currently, minibuses are not in this change in the law.

In Summary

If you are looking for a powerful electric minibus that will offer you a reliable mileage range and a quiet, smooth and comfortable drive, then the Ford E-Transit, built to the same quality as its diesel counterpart is the obvious choice. Every electric vehicle comes with charge and range constraints, but these can be overcome with planning.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a test drive in the E-Transit 15 seat minibus please give Castle Minibus a call on 01869 253744 or email