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Ford Transit Connect
The plug-in EV will be available for commercial fleets only

High on the business plans for American automakers are electric vehicles. Advances in electric vehicles were a key component of the business plans of the manufacturers that received billions in aid from the federal government.

Ford hasn’t received aid funds from the government yet, though it may have to if overall automotive sales continue to slump. Still the automaker is big on electric vehicles and has plans for several electric models. Ford announced that it would be working with Smith Electric Vehicles to bring an all-electric cargo van to market.

The van will be the Transit Connect commercial vehicle and it is reported to be coming as a 2010 model. Ford's Derrick Kuzak said in a statement, "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. 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."

Smith has been converting standard vehicles to electric cars in the UK since 1920 and the company already markets a battery-powered version of the Transit Connect in the UK. Ford and Smith promise that the van will have an all-electric range of 100 miles and will be offered for commercial use only.

The gasoline engine will be replaced with a 50 kW electric motor that will push the van to a top speed of 70 MPH. The payload capacity of the van will be 1,764 pounds making it viable as a commercial transport. Ford's first electric vehicle for consumers -- the Focus EV -- will debut in 2011.

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RE: Styling
By chmilz on 2/9/2009 11:16:50 AM , Rating: 3
It's just so... ugly.

Ford's been on a roll lately, so why not put a tad more design effort into this thing?

RE: Styling
By Tsuwamono on 2/9/2009 11:44:30 AM , Rating: 1
its from Europe... The land of ugly vehicles.

RE: Styling
By goz314 on 2/9/2009 2:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
its from Europe... The land of ugly vehicles.

Yeah, most Ferraris, Lambos, BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis look like total crap.


RE: Styling
By kkwst2 on 2/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Styling
By 3DoubleD on 2/9/2009 3:03:52 PM , Rating: 3
Are YOU kidding. Everywhere I went people had the most beautiful cars. In comparison, American taste in cars is crap. Even in Romania, a country that was communist less than 20 years ago, there were more BMW, Audi, Porsche, ect than I'd ever seen back home. It is true that Europe has made some pretty damn ugly cars (although half of them could be blamed on communism), but we are just as guilty (if not more guilty) over here. To sum it up, if you gave a random person extra money to not just buy the car that they need but one that they want/looks good I'd bet that the vast majority would buy European cars. I'm sure many would agree, although I'm sure you won't because your are that small minority who actually like most American cars.

RE: Styling
By Noya on 2/9/2009 9:59:57 PM , Rating: 2
more BMW, Audi, Porsche, ect than I'd ever seen back home

Where do you live back home? The south?

On another note, BMW and Audi have been selling entry-level trim levels in the EU where most models they send to the States are aimed in the entry/mid-level luxury class. Just look at the 1-series for example. It finally arrives here with a price tag that's nearly identical to the 335i.

RE: Styling
By otispunkmeyer on 2/10/2009 3:56:04 AM , Rating: 3
right mate, whatever.... i live in the UK, and cars such as

bentley, jaguar, aston martin, porsche, maserati are nearly a daily occurance where i live... and thats middlesbrough, hardly the money capital of the country.

last time i was in germany i saw plenty of high class mercs and beemers and even a handful of R8's as well as a lot of porsches

where i live in middlesbrough theres plenty of footballers with flash cars... m5's and m6's, RR sports, porsches, astons.... then theres the club owners and drug dealers, one of em got a rolls phantom!

theres even a prestige car hire place in town that will rent you a Lamborghini!..... in middlesbrough! its a hole of a town!

going to london only makes sightings like this even more common.

but i think what he was saying was more to do with the design flair and design language of the cars...i.e. europe designs some of the best looking cars in the world. yeah they might be abundant in the US, but you guys didnt design or make them. thats what hes getting at.

not that you lot dont make some good looking machines mind, when you lot are a alowed to do what you do best you make some great looking machines.

and by the way.... the transit connect has been out for yonks here. and yes its a fugly little thing, but then most white vans are.

RE: Styling
By tallcool1 on 2/10/2009 7:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
bentley, jaguar, aston martin, porsche, maserati are nearly a daily occurance where i live... and thats middlesbrough, hardly the money capital of the country.
I do agree, there are plenty of good looking European cars, however I doubt your average person is driving around in a Bentley or Porsche....
What's the typical cost of a Bentley or Porsche? I doubt the average Joe is cruising in one of these...

RE: Styling
By Murloc on 2/9/2009 2:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
I find that many american cars are just horrible.

RE: Styling
By CommodoreVic20 on 2/9/2009 3:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
American cars = caca

except for the corvette, a rare and beautiful example of what could be.

RE: Styling
By PrinceGaz on 2/9/2009 9:42:11 PM , Rating: 5
Okaaaaay. Yeah, Europe, where cars are actually cars and we have German and Italian manufacturers producing most of the best looking cars available today, whilst the US motor-industry continues to churn out not so good looking pickup trucks and needs governemnt bailouts to avoid going bust. And you call Europe the land of ugly vehicles. Yeah right.

RE: Styling
By sdsdv10 on 2/10/2009 9:10:22 AM , Rating: 3
Okaaaaay. Yeah, Europe, where...

the Italian government has offered 2 billion euros to help their ailing auto industry and where the French government just signed a bill providing "3 billion euros ($3.87 billion) in preferential-rate financing for Peugeot as well as for domestic rival Renault".

This recession is global and has absolutely nothing to do with the "styling" or "looks" of any particular countries motor vehicles.

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain
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