Aimed at offering fleet owners the opportunity to eliminate the use of gasoline and lower their operating costs with a zero-emissions option, Ford Motor Company has extended its partnership with Azure Dynamics to deliver an all-electric Ford Transit Connect van for the U.S. and Canadian markets in 2010. The companies will also leverage their relationships with battery supplier Johnson Controls-Saft. Both companies currently use Johnson Controls-Saft battery technology for other products.
The Transit Connect BEV is the first production vehicle as a result of Ford’s accelerated electric vehicle strategy, which includes the development of the Ford Focus BEV passenger car in 2011, and a next-generation hybrid and a plug-in hybrid in 2012. Azure Dynamics will integrate its proprietary Force Drive battery electric drive train in the Transit Connect and Johnson Controls-Saft will supply the lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs.
Using the Force Drive battery electric drive train, the Transit Connect BEV boasts a targeted range of 80 miles minimum on a full charge and zero tailpipe emissions. The Force Drive components have been deployed in more than 40 vehicles and have more than 25 million miles of on-the-road experience.
The Transit Connect BEV will use the same proven cell technology that is currently deployed in the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid fleet that is on the road today. Azure had previously announced it would use Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion batteries for its E- 450 Balance Hybrid Electric beginning in the second half of 2010.
The final manufacturing location for the Transit Connect BEV has not yet been determined.