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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 Indianapolis on 2/9/2009 11:39:02 AM , Rating: 1
You haven't really seen ugly automobiles until you've lived in Europe. Eventually you build up a tolerance.

RE: Styling
By psychobriggsy on 2/9/2009 12:24:49 PM , Rating: 2
One, don't lump all of Europe in with France.

Two, it looks like a Renault van (see 1) rather than a Ford. What's up with that?

RE: Styling
By Indianapolis on 2/9/2009 12:37:13 PM , Rating: 3
Who mentioned France? While the French are certainly masters of the ugly auto, they by no means have the market cornered. The Swedes have certainly given the French a run for their money with Saab.

RE: Styling
By afkrotch on 2/9/2009 12:48:16 PM , Rating: 3
Ya, like all those type of commercial vans don't look exactly the same in Europe. Renault, Ford, Citreon, Seat, etc. Doesn't matter. When it comes to that type of vehicle, they all look the same and do the same thing.

RE: Styling
By HaB1971 on 2/9/2009 12:39:16 PM , Rating: 3
Well would dare venture to say that pretty much anything designed by Pontiac prior to the current safely styled G6's and G8's hold their own in the pantheon of ugly vehicles, IMHO. Hopefully their entire design studio were taken out back and shot for visual crimes against humanity for these two atrocities.

Behold the Aztec and the 1999 Firebird

While saying that, there are far worse vehicles from Europe with Renault, Citroen and Fiat being guilty as charged on all counts.

The Fiat Multipla holds the crown in my book

I guess someone finds them nice to look at?

RE: Styling
By Diesel Donkey on 2/9/2009 3:33:29 PM , Rating: 1
With all the ugly vehicles to choose from in this world, you chose the 1999 Firebird? Except for the ridiculous air intakes, I think I like it!

RE: Styling
By cfaalm on 2/9/2009 4:10:43 PM , Rating: 1
Nah, it looks like a shoe.

RE: Styling
By Keeir on 2/9/2009 6:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
Although its not terrible... its supposed to be a sports car and the very top of Pontiac line..

As such, it fails (IMO) miserably. Not to say its anywhere near the Aztec is terms of fugliness, but then again the Aztec is a mini-van type Auto which lowers my standards for it significantly.

RE: Styling
By Tamale on 2/9/2009 4:29:53 PM , Rating: 2
The Aztek is indeed one of the ugliest cars ever made. That toyota hummer is pretty nasty too.

Also, the old-school boat-like wagons were rather fugly.

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