Not Sexy, But the Business World Needs Electric Vehicles Too
Ford has just unveiled the electric version of its award-winning Transit Connect utility van, and it's not just a "maybe far in the future" announcement. Transit Connect Electric vans should be in the hands of customers "later this year", says Ford, though full volume production is only scheduled for 2011.
The electric range of the Transit Connect Electric will be about 80 miles. Praveen Cherian, Program Manager of the Transit Connect, thinks that this will be enough. He said: "These vehicles actually are meant for specific types of customers that have a predictable drive route and most of our customers have said, look we don't drive more than 50-60 miles on a give day and these commercial customers like, for example, florists or a handyman, plumber, or a Best Buy Geek Squad, utility type purposes vehicle..."
Indeed, businesses that predictably drive only small distances daily are probably the best place to start with electrification. They all park their vehicles in predictable spots, so charging stations can be installed there. They have more budget than individuals when it comes to purchasing fleet vehicles, and their fuel costs are usually pretty high.
Ford is partnering with Azure Dynamics for the electric drivetrain. Under the hood, the electric motor will be a Siemens model 135, 300V 3-phase AC liquid-cooled induction motor, producing 158 N·m continuous, 235 N·m peak. The battery will be a 28 kWh, 16-module (192 cells) JCS Lithium-ion pack.
It will have 135 cubic feet of cargo volume, with 59.1 inches of floor-to-ceiling load height, 47.8 inches of load width between the wheel arches, and 72.6 inches of load space.
No word on price yet.
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