Ford to Launch Electric Cargo Van in U S Next Year With Electric …

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FORD Focus Electric � Electric Car 107kW Auto

Ford to Launch Electric Van in U.S. Next Year, Electric Car in 2011

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By O Dell, Senior Editor

almost two months of speculation, Motor Co. confirmed today it will, indeed, base its venture into the commercial vehicle market on the Ford Connect van (right) that s a best-seller throughout Europe in its gasoline and diesel versions.

We don t get to do it as as we d like, so bear with us a Toot.

That s the sound of our own

We predicted this back in when word first got out Ford was planning a battery-electric van for the U.S. commercial truck

Ford said today it bring the electric delivery van to here in partnership with s Smith Electric Vehicles which already makes its own version of the Transit Connect for as the Smith Amphere (left) in and just last week plans to introduce — and building — a much commercial truck, the Smith in the U.S. later this

The Ford Transit EV, slated to go on in 2010, will be the first in Ford promise will be a of electric vehicles that include a battery-electric small car the Ford Focus) in 2011; in 2012, a new generation of Ford s powertrain in a number of vehicles a plug-in hybrid (likely the Escape SUV, a plug-in of which is presently undergoing

At Chicago Auto Show

is unveiling the U.S. versions of the van at the Auto Show which to the public Friday after a media preview on Wednesday and

Launching with an electric Connect delivery van first Ford a year to gather data on its batteries and electric system from a cadre of intensive users: commercial tend to see much harder and many more miles, passenger cars and light

The new Transit Connect light vehicle with battery power represents the next step in our pursuit of even fuel economy and sustainability, Kuzak, Ford s group president of Global Product said in a statement.

Prompted in by local and federal incentives, a number of our commercial vehicle clients have expressed in electrification as a sustainable mobility he said. By leveraging our global and asset portfolio, we re able to bring this environmentally [vehicle] to market.

Ford and — the European market s provider of battery-electric commercial — did not disclose particulars of arrangement.

100 Miles Per Charge

FORD Focus Electric � Electric Car 107kW Auto

But it is likely Smith, at least at first, provide much of the U.S. s electric drive system and may do the conversion work with its own

The Transit Connect presently is at a Ford plant in Turkey. hasn t said whether versions for the U.S. will be here or built in Europe and to the U.S.

As configured by Smith, the version of the van in Europe has a range of up to 100 using a lithium-ion battery It can carry up to 1,600 pounds of and has a top speed of 70 miles an hour.

The relatively short range battery charges isn t a hurdle in the delivery market because such vans are used for intra-city routes, the kind of use for which an electric vehicle is suited.

Gasoline Model, Too

also is bringing a conventionally Transit Connect to the U.S. next year, with and cargo van versions as well as a version with second-row

The U.S. vans will use a four-cylinder engine and four-speed with automatic overdrive.

said it expects the vans to to win EPA economy ratings of at least 20 per gallon in city driving and 24 mpg on the

John O’Dell: is an AutoObserver Editor. Follow @AutoObserver on

FORD Focus Electric � Electric Car 107kW Auto
FORD Focus Electric � Electric Car 107kW Auto
FORD Focus Electric � Electric Car 107kW Auto
FORD Focus Electric � Electric Car 107kW Auto

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