Ford Transit Connect Electric to qualify for $15,000 state incentive in California

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 21, 2011

There will be a category that will be added to California’s HVIP (Hybrid Incentive Voucher Program) that covers light-duty zero-emissions commercial vehicles (between 5,001 and 8,500 lbs GVWR) starting November, according to Chris Abarca, Director of Sales, West for Azure Dynamics, which has partnered with Ford for the Transit Connect Electric.

Under this category, a fleet’s first voucher could reach up to $15,000, while it’s $12,000 thereafter for what remains of FY 2010-11. The proposed FT 2011-12 HVIP voucher amounts (beginning in February 2012) increase to: $10,000 per vehicle for the first 30 vouchers.

The first 3 vehicles qualify for an added $2,000); $8,000 per voucher for 31-65 vouchers; $6,000 per voucher for 66 to 100 vouchers. The HVIP program makes use of AB 118 Air Quality Improvement Funding to aid fleets to make the switch from ICE vehicles to electric and hybrids.

These funds are offered to any fleet public (Federal, State, Local) or private that register the vehicles in California. Abarca noted that these incentives, together with the $7,500 Federal EV Tax Credit, will decrease the ROI down to 2.5 years at existing fuel prices. Presently, the HVIP voucher categories begin at 8,501–10,000 lbs GVWR, with a plug-in hybrid that may qualify for a base incentive of $10,000. A zero emission vehicle in this weight category may get a base incentive of $15,000.

Ford has finally taken the wraps off the zero-emission Ford Transit Connect Electric small van at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. Ford also confirmed that the Ford Transit Connect Electric will be delivered to its fleet customers later in 2010. Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, quipped that the Ford Transit Connect Electric highlights how the carmaker is leveraging its hybrid and advanced powertrain programs and its partnerships to bring energy-efficient technologies to the roads.

He added that the new Ford Transit Connect Electric is ideal for eco-conscious fleet operators and plays an important role in Ford's future. The new 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric will be powered by a Force Drive electric powertrain produced and integrated by specialty upfitter Azure Dynamics. It is suitable for commercial fleets with predictable, short-range routes usually in urban and suburban areas and it has a central location for everyday recharging.

It could accelerate as quickly as the conventional Ford Transit Connect and could travel up to 75 mph, with a range of up to 80 miles on a single full charge. Interestingly, the new Ford Transit Connect Electric could be recharged with either a standard 120V outlet or a 240V charge station installed at the customer’s base of operations. Recharging could take between six and eight hours using the 240V charge station.

Customers could avail of a transportable cord that is suitable for both types of outlets. Aside from the Ford Transit Connect Electric, Ford is also intending to introduce three more electrified vehicles to the market: the Focus Electric in 2011, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and a next-generation hybrid in 2012.

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