The RNLI is to deploy more than 450 new Fords over the next three years, including trialling the forthcoming Transit Custom plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).
Following tests on vehicles from eight manufacturers, the charity is to deploy the Ford Ranger pickup for its lifeguard patrols while EcoSport and Kuga cars and Transit vans also join RNLI’s fleet as replacement vehicles.
The deal includes a trial of the Custom PHEV in a move that sees the RNLI become Ford’s 10th fleet partner testing prototypes of the PHEV in real-world, everyday applications ahead of the vehicle going on sale later this year.
A total of 210 new Fords will be shipped to the RNLI this year, followed by a further 120 in 2020 and again in 2021.
Ford will also collaborate with the RNLI on water safety messages to raise public awareness of risks around the water.
Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman and managing director, said: “Ford as UK vehicle market leader partnering one of this country’s national treasures is a real coup for us. The RNLI does an outstanding job keeping us safe around the coast, which we’re excited to be supporting.”