Ford has unveiled an electric version of its Transit Connect van at the 2010 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover – the first of a series of five new electric or hybrid commercial to be launched by 2013.
The Transit Connect Electric is a zero-emission, pure electric-powered version of the Transit Connect light commercial vehicle. It will go on sale in North America later this year and is due to become available in Europe during 2011.
It builds on Ford’s relationship with its electric vehicles partner, Azure Dynamics, as well as their shared experience with battery supplier, Johnson Controls-Saft.
Nancy Gioia, Ford director of global electrification, said: “We recognise an increasing interest in electrified vehicles and have an aggressive strategy to bring these vehicles to the marketplace.
“Our work with Azure to create a pure electric battery Transit Connect vehicle will allow us to offer our commercial customers an additional option for environmentally advanced transportation.”
The Transit Connect Electric is built on Ford’s global commercial vehicle platform as part of the company’s ONE Ford global product vision. Th programme to 2013 includes:
* Transit Connect battery electric van in 2011
* Ford Focus battery electric passenger car in 2012
* Ford C-MAX-based hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in 2013,
* One further HEV vehicle to be confirmed for 2013.
Ford’s product development team is participating in two specific European trial initiatives to demonstrate the technology in real world driving conditions, and generate feedback to develop the Focus Electric and the Transit Connect Electric for market acceptance in Europe.
In the UK, Ford is working with Scottish and Southern Energy, the London Borough of Hillingdon, and the University of Strathclyde on the UK’s Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Fleet Demonstration with a fleet of 21 prototype electric vehicles to collect data on their performance with a mixture of fleet and private users.
In Germany, it is working with RheinEnergie AG, the city of Cologne and the University of Duisburg-Essen on the ColognE-mobil program, using a fleet of 25 electric vehicles to conduct road testing. This program is part of a much larger research effort in several cities in Germany involving multiple automakers, utility companies, universities and technology partners.