Ford Set To Roll Out First Transit Connect Electric Vans TheDetroitBureau com

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Ford Transit Connect Electric

Ford Set To Roll Out First Connect Electric Vans

s first electric vehicle be a version of the Transit Connect van.

You might miss the white van, hidden in the of a nondescript warehouse in the Detroit of Oak Park, but it could kick off a revolution in the years ahead.

this month, the first 29 of vans – or more precisely, Transit Connect Electric – will begin to roll out of warehouse, 14 of them heading for tests in the U.K. the rest to fleets here in the U.S.

The Connect Electric is one of two battery-electric that Ford plans to to market in the next couple the other model being a version of the next-generation Focus.  The has been pushed back a at least in terms of retail giving the maker a bit more to test the new models under controlled fleet conditions.

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The Detroit maker has an unusually entrepreneurial approach to its battery car efforts, turning to two suppliers to help it get to market quickly.  The Canadian mega-supplier, is taking the lead role in the Focus Electric, while Canadian firm, Azure is spearheading the Transit Connect van project.

“We can do it quicker and for less explained Azure Dynamics Operating Officer Curt during an interview at the firm’s Detroit facility.  The firm gliders, versions of the Transit produced without a powertrain, and its own electric driveline.

The first 29 of the vans will be shipped off for testing by the end of this year.

The has a long history in the electric world.  A spin-off of the University of it acquired Selectria, one of the pioneers of the in 2005.  But AD has shifted focus electric passenger cars to and medium-duty trucks, both and pure battery-electric vehicles, or

The logic, Huston contends, is While it will take time to convince consumers of the of electric propulsion – overcoming about range and cost – an easier sell to fleet They have precise and needs and are likely to live the limited range of today’s which, in the case of the Transit Electric’s lithium-ion pack, is 80 per charge.

(General Electric purchase 25,000 battery including 12,000 Chevy Click Here for more.)

a 220-volt “Level II” charger, the version of the Transit van would be to get back on the road in 6 to 8 hours, it would only need be out of about 60 minutes, according to using a high-speed, 440-volt station, something likely to common in fleet depots.

The biggest near-term challenge be cost.  Ford and Azure officials decline to discuss the which they insist has not yet finalized, but they expect it come down sharply, in the few years.  The key is the rapid increase in capacity for lithium batteries as competitors enter the field.

  says that is being by a $2.5 billion grant launched by the Obama Administration to the electrification of the auto industry.

Ford Transit Connect Electric

“No about it,” said that “push is driving lithium-ion costs quickly.”

As as a year ago, it was generally that LIon technology about $1,000 per kilowatt/hour.  s a significant burden for a vehicle the Transit Connect Electric, uses 28 kWh of batteries.  But industry now believe that could as little as $300 to $400 per kWh by something Huston cautiously as a “reasonable estimate,” based on trends.

A brief drive of the Transit Electric reveals few, if any in the performance of the vehicle, other range.  In fact, the battery of the European-made van is quicker off the line the gasoline-powered Transit Connect.  But slows considerably at highway

In terms of functionality, the battery is hidden below the load and AD engineers were able to it with only the most intrusion into the Ford normal cargo space.

The fleet test will be by limited retail sales, in 2011.  Azure Dynamics serve as the van’s maker of but service will be available Ford dealers in the U.S. and

The company’s Lead Customer has already lined up 93 orders, at least 10 each from Johnson Controls – a major supplier – and Canadian Post.  utilities, including Southern Edison, have also orders, and the AD is talking with a of other utilities and fleet including the U.S. Postal which utilizes more 120,000 small vans and vehicles, and which is under to migrate to “green” technology.

The for a booming fleet market was by Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General who earlier this month plans to purchase “tens of of battery vehicles for his sales and staff.  GE has so far declined to identify products it will purchase.

As the Connect Electric gets the fleet test stage, Dynamics COO Huston says the range will be around 800 to of the battery vans annually.

This entry was posted on November 11th, 2010 at and is under Automobiles. You can follow any to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are closed.

Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric

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