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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 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.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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