Ford Motor Co. will sell the new 2011 Transit Connect Electric van to its first market in Europe, the United Kingdom. The electric van, which is the first product in Ford's global electrified vehicle plan, is based on its Transit Connect commercial van.
The new van will be used in London by the utility company Scottish and Southern Energy as part of a government-backed program to test electric vehicle and infrastructure technology.
Ford said the van is ideal for fleet owners who have a central location for daily recharging and who have well-defined routes of predictable distances.
Ford also added in a statement that delivery fleet and utility vehicle operators now prefer smaller, more efficient vehicles, which creates an ideal time for Transit Connect Electric to come to market. Ford said on Dec. 7, 2010 that it had started shipping the first Transit Connect Electrics to early customers in North America.
The vans are assembled by AM General, a contract vehicle assembler in Livonia, Michigan, and include a Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion battery pack.
The vans are refitted with a battery electric powertrain by Detroit-based Azure Dynamics. Full production is set to step up in April 2011 when the first Transit Connect Electric units will be available to European market customers.