PHOTO CAPTION: Smith Edison electric delivery van will be basis of Ford Transit Connect.

Ford Announces Electric Transit Connect

Electric Transit Connect will be developed in conjunction with UK's Smith Electric.

Published: 09-Feb-2009

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Company today 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 partner 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 car-like driving dynamics, cargo capacity, accessibility and low costs of entry and operation make 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.

Tanfield Press Release

The Tanfield Group Plc, the leading manufacturer of aerial work platforms and commercial electric vehicles, today announces an electric vehicle development collaboration with Ford Motor Company.

Tanfield will work with Ford to introduce a battery-electric light van, the first vehicle in the Company's broad electrification strategy for the North American market which was announced at this year's Detroit Auto Show. This vehicle will be based on the European-designed Ford Transit Connect which goes on sale in North America this year.

Tanfield will manufacture a limited number of electric Ford Transit Connect vehicles in North America during 2010, with future production to ramp up in line with customer demand. The vehicles will be fully branded as a Ford product and sold through selected Ford dealerships.

Tanfield already works with Ford of Europe to produce commercial electric vehicles based on the Ford Transit and Transit Connect chassis.

Darren Kell, CEO of The Tanfield Group Plc, said: "We are proud to be delivering the first vehicle in Ford's new electrification strategy, with the battery-electric Ford Transit Connect.

"This enhances the Ford commercial vehicle portfolio with a zero-emission light van that is cost-effective, gets the job done and does not compromise Ford's high standards for exceptional driving experience. It offers fleet owners the opportunity to reduce their carbon footprint, improve city air quality and make a positive step towards our national energy security."

"The collaboration with Ford and development of the battery-electric Ford Transit Connect demonstrates that Smith Electric Vehicles is the industry leader in commercial electric vehicles."

The vehicle's performance capabilities are expected to include a range of up to 100 miles on a full charge, without compromising the Transit Connect's superior driving experience. It will operate very similarly to a conventional light van, but with smoother acceleration, less noise and zero emissions.

Tanfield will be wholly responsible for supplying and integrating the power train, battery pack and control systems into the existing vehicle chassis envelope, with engineering support from Ford.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Product Development, said: "Our collaboration with Smith will result in the first battery-electric vehicle in Ford's electrification strategy and positions Ford at the vanguard of the commercial electric vehicle industry.

"The partnership approach adopted for delivering the battery-electric Ford Transit Connect ensures the most efficient route to market, through shared investment and expertise."

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