Ford to offer first battery electric commercial vehicle on global Transit connect platform

By Ford Social Member

Ford Motor Company announced plans to market a pure battery electric-powered light commercial vehicle in North America, based on the all-new Transit Connect global commercial vehicle platform.

“The new Transit Connect light commercial vehicle with battery electric power represents the next logical step in our pursuit of even greater fuel economy and sustainability,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development. “A growing number of our commercial vehicle fleet clients have expressed interest in electrification as a sustainable mobility solution. By leveraging our global team and asset portfolio, we’re able to quickly bring this environmentally friendly, strong ‘silent type’ to market.”

The use of a global commercial vehicle platform showcases Ford’s ability to deliver products with worldwide marketing opportunities. Powering this electrification drive is the company’s “One Ford” global product vision.

Transit Connect with battery electric power is the initial offering in Ford’s aggressive new electric vehicle plan to bring pure battery-powered vehicles, hybrids and plug-in hybrids to market. To start, during the next four years, Ford will introduce in North America:

  • The Transit Connect battery electric commercial vehicle in 2010

  • A new battery electric small car in 2011

  • Next-generation hybrid vehicles in 2012

  • Plug-in hybrid versions in 2012

Collaboration with experienced global upfitter enables speed to market

Ford is working with Smith Electric Vehicles, the European market’s leading battery electric upfitter of commercial vehicles, which is part of the U.K.-based Tanfield Group of companies.

Since 1920, Smith has converted tens of thousands of vehicles to battery electric power. In the U.K. and select European markets, Smith already offers battery electric versions of the Ford Transit medium commercial vehicle to fleet customers.

Transit Connect commercial platform ideally suited to battery electric power

Ford Transit Connect has been a global success. Its unique combination of cargo capacity, accessibility and low costs of entry and operation makes it a logical platform for battery electric power. Transit Connect has been designed, engineered and manufactured by Ford of Europe on a dedicated global commercial vehicle platform to beat tough, light commercial vehicle durability standards.

Many commercial users travel predictable, short-range routes, with lots of stop and go in urban and suburban environments. For companies aiming for sustainable mobility solutions, Transit Connect with battery electric power can help them deliver in an environmentally friendly way.

A range of up to 100 miles makes Transit Connect a useful hauler, with significantly reduced operation and maintenance costs over the long haul. Numerous federal and regional programs offer incentives for companies to electrify their fleets. Ford Transit Connect with battery electric power will be available in select U.S. Ford dealerships in 2010.

  • The first product in Ford’s aggressive new electric vehicle plan, a battery electric-powered version of Ford’s global Transit Connect commercial vehicle, will be offered in 2010

  • Ford is collaborating with Europe’s leading battery electric commercial vehicle upfitter – Smith Electric Vehicles, a unit of the Tanfield Group - to quickly bring this vehicle to market in North America

  • The initiative leverages the “One Ford” global strategy, delivering pure battery electric power for commercial applications on a global platform. It also supports Ford’s strategy of bringing scalable, affordable and fuel-efficient solutions for millions while helping reduce American commercial vehicle dependence on oil

John Lough 07/08/2010
Whear can I get one, and when?
greg 02/19/2010
I have a 1981 Ford Escort, Jet Electra. Well the onboard charger crapped out and I have to charge each of the 11 batterys individually. Can I have some of your new batteries? Sparky
B Hawley 02/03/2010
Great start, but not very practical without the infrastructure. I can understand a Diesel/Electric or Gas/Electric Hybrid whidh will provide for greater flexibility and adaptability outside of urban areas, long drives, and unique situations within urban areas. Pure electrics never worked when they were foisted on me when I worked for the government in the last "oil crisis". While overall performance has greatly improved for pure electrics due to enhance battery design, the nagging problem of charging/recharging or emergency charging will kill a much broader application. We were tied to the "grid" and the grid wasn't set up for motor vehicles. The logistics of battery swapout/storage/disposal/handling will stymie pure electrics. You need to never have to remove the batteries (warrantees, safety, environmental, efficiency, etc) and only stop at one type of "energy" station. Integrating energy recovery into the design (solar, heat, braking) will help, but convenience or absence thereof will drive sales, rebuys, etc. I like the design of the Transit Connect and would consider a Gas or Diesel Hybird but not a Pure Electric for those reasons above.
Gregory Gortmaker 01/28/2010
I'm really excited about your upcoming Transit Connect Electric. The automotive news is that you've chosen a new supplier for the drive system. Could you update your webpage?
Mitch 12/31/2009
I have a small bussiness and the Electric Transit Connect would be great, but when and where can I get one?
Steve Clark 12/25/2009
How much ,ball park? I was in process of converting a 1980 toyota pickup truck ,I have bought some parts but got laid off so this on hold. A factory one would be good. I am working part time for Fedex , the range would be good for my route.
RJ 11/20/2009
I want an all electric/Solar Transit Connect you can drive highway speeds
that you plug in that is affordable to drive now...
Thanks RJ
sean Lavelle 11/19/2009
I have a ford diesel van for my contract work and a toyota prius for home.

An all electric van wouldn't cut it for me but make a diesel electric hybrid and I'm in
it will take a lot of electric sales to get an infrastructure to the point where one can drive up and swap a battery (like a bottle of propane for the barbie)
but I would even consider an all electric with a 50 mile range if it had an onboard light weight gas or diesel genset.
So on the odd day that I have to make an extra parts run I dont get stranded -the genset should kick on at 20% remaining charge (unless I over rule it coz I know I'm close to home etc)
It can be a small genset maybe capable of sustaining 45 mph when batteries are totally drained.
and maybe programmed to come on once a week or so so it remains functional.
I would then have the peace of mind to buy a vehicle knowing I wont get caught out with nowhere to plug in.
And 90% of the time I'd be running off electric plug-in charging.
I'm already in the habit of plugging in my block heater.
RJ 10/16/2009
I want one now...electric/solar -Ford battery electric commercial vehicle
Transit connect...when can i get one...that goes highway speeds that plugs in...
Thanks RJD
Bob Welch 10/01/2009
Since we have ten of thousands of fueling stations(gas stations) existing in the US, it would seem logical to have the "Fuel tanks" Batteries easily removable and the fueling stations have fully charged and properly maintailed batteries ready. If the Automotive industry could standardize on 5 or 6 types of batteries for powering EP vehicles it would simply be a matter of pulling into the station, sliding out your LOW tank and sliding in a Fully charged unit and be on your way. Probably faster than pumping 20 gal of gas and only be charged $5/8.00 for that SERVICE.
Glen 09/25/2009
Can they double the batteries to get more range? I have a business that requires me to travel 200 to 250 miles. This would be great if they could double the battery pack so that more range would be possible.
Ford to offer first battery electric commercial vehicle on global Transit connect platform
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