Ford, Azure Dynamics Ship First Transit Connect Electric Vans

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and Azure Dynamics (TSX: AZD) have begun shipping the first Ford Transit Connect Electrics to early customers in North America and to the United Kingdom for a demonstration project.

The all-electric commercial vans, built on the Ford Transit Connect vehicle body, equipped with Azure Dynamics’ Force Drive™ battery electric powertrain, and assembled by AM General at its facility in Livonia, Mich., are reaching the market 13 months after the collaboration to develop the zero-emission vehicle was first announced.

To date, all initial units have designated customers. Azure Dynamics’ LEAD customer program includes seven companies that are taking delivery of their first units in 2010, with the remainder of their orders to be filled in 2011. Customers that have been previously announced include AT&T (NYSE: T), Southern California Edison (NYSE: EIX), Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL), Johnson Controls Inc. (NYSE: JCI), New York Power Authority, Canada Post and Toronto Atmospheric Fund EV300. Additional LEAD customers will be identified by the end of the year, the company said.

Ford first announced the collaboration in October 2009, with an agreement for Azure Dynamics to upfit the Transit Connect van with Azure’s Force Drive battery electric drivetrain technology including Johnson Controls-Saft’s advanced lithium-ion battery, and a commitment to deliver the initial vehicles by the end of 2010 to the North American market. Initial production began in 4Q10 with full production of the Transit Connect Electric slated to ramp up in April 2011.

"We have been able to focus on integration of our Force Drive powertrain solution and benefit from Ford’s expertise in building ground-up global vehicle platforms," said Scott Harrison, CEO, Azure Dynamics. "Meanwhile, capital costs are kept in check by contracting AM General for labor and assembly services–an area where the company excels."

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation provided incentive funding for Azure Dynamics to keep the green jobs in Michigan.

Transit Connect Electric is the first product in Ford’s accelerated electrified vehicle plan, and will be followed by the Focus Electric passenger car in 2011, along with a plug-in hybrid electric and two next-generation lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid vehicles in 2012.

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Comments on “Ford, Azure Dynamics Ship First Transit Connect Electric Vans”

  1. Charles Farmer

    How will the power be made to support the grid when all the electrics plug in? Hydrocarbons and/or Nuks?……wind, hydro and geothermal will take quite awhile to get up to speed I think, and corn is best used to feed animals and people, not cars.


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