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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 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.

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