Ford has announced it will build a plug-in hybrid version of its Transit Custom van.

Due to go on sale in 2019 in Europe, the American manufacturer said the new model will be engineered to help reduce operating costs.

At present, there is only one plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle in the UK – the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 4Work, though this is not a direct competitor to the Transit.

Ford’s announcement comes as it detailed seven of the 13 new global electric vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years as part of a $4.5bn (£3.6m) push to become a leader in EV and autonomous vehicles.

“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of purchasing and EV champion at Ford. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Range information has not been detailed at present, but Ford said it would put the model on roads later this year alongside a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity tools in order to make life easier for EV owners.