DUANE GRIDER: FORD TRANSIT CONNECT ELECTRIC’S DESIGN LEADER ENERGIZED BY ITS POTENTIAL

DUANE GRIDER: FORD TRANSIT CONNECT ELECTRIC’S DESIGN LEADER ENERGIZED BY ITS POTENTIAL


Duane Grider, design leader, Ford Transit Connect Electric
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  • Duane Grider is Ford’s design leader and technical liaison with upfitter Azure Dynamics Corporation, working to deliver Ford’s first pure all-electric vehicle in its electrification strategy
  • Grider previously led engineering development of the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid demonstration fleet and launch of the Focus fuel cell fleet
  • Grider holds several U.S. patents in powertrain and vehicle electronics
  • Outside of his work at Ford, Grider serves as president of a 120-member church choir and sings in a number of sacred music ensembles
As design leader for the Ford Transit Connect Electric, Duane Grider is energized by his passion to improve vehicle efficiency and this new vehicle’s market potential. The all-electric Transit Connect is an exciting spin on the gas-powered version, which recently won the 2010 North American Truck of the Year award at the North American International Auto Show.
 
It’s an invigorating time for Ford, because the Transit Connect Electric represents not only the first vehicle in its electrification strategy, but also the globalization of Ford’s product lineup and an innovative entry into a relatively fresh segment – the small urban delivery van,” Grider said.
 
Grider is Ford’s technical liaison with manufacturing collaborator Azure Dynamics Corporation, which is upfitting the Transit Connect with an all-electric powertrain. Ford will provide the base gliders to Azure with the engine, transmission, fuel and exhaust systems removed. Azure is upfitting the gliders with an electric driveline, high-voltage battery, onboard charger and other battery electric vehicle system components.
 
As technical liaison, Grider manages Ford engineering support to Azure and provides access to Transit Connect production information, which helps enable Azure to engineer and deliver a vehicle that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards and applicable regulations.
 
The Transit Connect Electric has the same cargo volume capacity and is similar in key performance characteristics with the gas-powered vehicle. It’s solid, smooth and quiet,” Grider said. “This program has gone well with Azure. They are very enthusiastic about this project and bring solid experience as upfitters of a number of commercial hybrid electric powertrains.”
 
In addition to the Transit Connect Electric, Azure offers a hybrid modification of Ford’s Econoline van to commercial customers.
 
Grider brings significant electrification experience to the Transit Connect Electric program. Previously, he was the technical design leader for the Escape plug-in hybrid electric demonstration fleet, currently undergoing road testing with Ford’s utility industry partners across the country. In addition, he was the driveline supervisor, integration supervisor and launch leader for Ford’s fuel cell Focus test fleet.
 
Our fuel cell and plug-in hybrid programs have been important steppingstones toward the Transit Connect Electric,” Grider said. “And our work on the Transit Connect Electric stands to provide a positive influence toward our future electrification programs.”
 
Personal Insights and Fun Facts
  • Duane earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in electronics and computer systems from Wayne State University
  • Duane and his wife Ellen of 21 years have three children, Aaron, 19; Jordan, 17; and Kristen, 15
  • He is active in church activities, including singing in a men’s quartet and serving as the president of a 120-member choir
  • Duane has worked at Ford for 28 years
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
 
March 31, 2010
 

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