Electric a Perfect Fit
As previously reported, Ford and Azure Dynamics have partnered to make an electric version of Ford's Transit Connect utility van. This week, the first electric vans have started shipping to a variety of customers like AT&T;, Southern California Edison, Xcel Energy, Johnson Controls Inc., New York Power Authority, Canada Post and Toronto Atmospheric Fund EV300. This is pretty impressive considering that only 13 months have elapsed since the collaboration to develop the zero-emission vehicle was first announced.
The all-electric, zero-emissions Transit Connect Electric has a driving range of up to 80 miles per full charge and is ideal for fleet owners who have well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily recharging. (source)
Indeed, battery electric vehicles might actually make more sense for these types of use at first because range anxiety is no longer a problem when you know exactly how far you're driving each day. Fleet operators can also benefit from lower maintenance costs: " the annual maintenance cost of a diesel delivery truck is about $2,700 in most years, including oil, transmission fluid, filters and belts. For an electric truck--which has no transmission and needs no fluids, filters or belts--the cost is about $250" (source).