Ford Motor Company today unveiled the all-electric version of the Ford Transit Connect, the 2010 North American Truck of the Year, at the Chicago Auto Show. Praveen Cherian, Program Manager of the Transit Connect, explained when these vehicles will be available.
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"To start off in 2010 we are actually are having a limited volume of production, so they’ll be available this year on a limited volume basis and next year we ramp up full production." :11 sec.
By next year, Praveen says they estimate about a thousand units will be produced annually, but then again it all depends on how the customer responds to these products.
"These vehicles actually are meant for specific types of customers that have a predictable drive route and most of our customers have said, look we don’t drive more than 50-60 miles on a give day and these commercial customers like, for example, florists or a handyman, plumber, or a Best Buy Geek Squad, utility type purposes vehicle… so we’ve designed this vehicle to have a range of 80 miles on a full state of charge." :26 sec.
Transit Connect Electric is the first product in Ford’s accelerated electrified plan… Cherian says more are planned and coming to showrooms in the within a couple of years.
"Right after we launched this Transit Connect it’s followed by the Focus Electric vehicle that’s coming out next year, So in the next two-three years you gonna have four new electrified products from Ford." :11 sec.
Ford’s collaboration to bring the Transit Connect Electric is Michigan based, with Azure Dynamics Corporation, located in Oak Park, Michigan, and Johnson Controls-Saft’s technology, from Holland, Michigan responsible for advanced lithium-ion battery technology.
"This is a joint venture with Azure Dynamics, in a sense that it is a partnership. Azure Dynamics is a company that’s actually providing the powertrain technology which is the electric powertrain and the battery is coming from JCS, Johnson Controls Saft, they’re actually located out of Holland, Michigan, which actually the battery manufacturing is done in Michigan and the vehicle is fully assembled here in Michigan itself." :25 sec.
The all-electric, zero emission Transit Connect electric has a targeted range of up to 80 miles per full charge, and will be rechargeable using either 240-volt or standard 120 volt outlets.
"The Transit Connect, by itself, is a really good alternate vehicle for someone that doesn’t need a pickup truck, but they want a utility vehicle and if they have a limited driving range and it’s a predictable route, a Transit Connect Electric is the right vehicle for that kind of customer." :14 sec.
The Transit Connect Electric is expected to offer lower cost of operation, because recharging with electricity is generally less expensive than refueling with gasoline. Users may also benefit from much lower maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle.