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Ford Transit Connect Electric  (Source: Ford Motor Company)
Ford is on a roll these days and the Transit Connect Electric is a part of the company's "green" future

When it comes to electric vehicles, DailyTech has mostly covered the consumer side of things. General Motors is going full steam ahead with its Volt "extended range" electric vehicle, Nissan is developing its all-electric Leaf, and Tesla is hitting a higher price point with its Roadster and Model S all-electric vehicles.

However, all-electric vehicles aren't just limited to the consumer market -- they can also make sense for the commercial market as well. A year ago today, DailyTech first brought you news that Ford would introduce an electric version of its small but capable Transit Connect commercial van. Ford is making good on that promise and today announced the 2011 Transit Connect Electric.

The 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric was developed in conjunction with Azure Dynamics Corporation and uses a "Force Drive" electric powertrain. The vehicle uses a 50 kW electric motor and the 28 kWh lithium-ion battery pack -- developed in conjunction with Johnson Controls-Saft -- allows the Transit Connect Electric to travel up to 80 miles on a charge. Top speed for the vehicle is 75 mph, so don't expect the Transit Connect Electric to keep up with Atlanta highway traffic anytime soon.

Ford says that the Transit Connect Electric can be recharged from either 120V or 240V outlets.

Transit Connect Electric exemplifies how we are leveraging our relationships as well as our hybrid and advanced powertrain programs to bring energy-efficient technologies from the laboratory to the street,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Not only is this an ideal vehicle for eco-conscious fleet operators, it is an important part of Ford’s future.”

"These vehicles actually are meant for specific types of customers that have a predictable drive route, continued Praveen Cherian, Program Manager of the Transit Connect. 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."

Even with a large lithium-ion battery packed into the Transit Connect Electric's compact frame, the 181-inch vehicle still has 135 cu-ft of cargo space which is almost as much as a Chevrolet Suburban.

Ford has not announced pricing for the Transit Connect Electric yet, but do expect to pay a premium for the luxury of not having to worry about using gasoline anymore. The base price of a standard Transit Connect is $20,780, so let's hope that Ford can keep the price of the Transit Connect Electric below $30,000.

Following the launch of the Transit Connect Electric, Ford says that it will also launch an all-electric version of its next generation Focus next year.

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By shin0bi272 on 2/9/2010 10:00:53 AM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. They tried to do all electric trucks in 1903 with lead acid batteries and the truck couldnt drive up a 5% grade with an empty bed! Obviously we've progressed a little bit but you'd think they'd test those types of things before releasing a utilitarian vehicle that's all electric.

Then on top of the issue about power becoming more expensive if we have more people sucking power off the grid to run their electric cars. You also have to think about where we get the lithium for the batteries in the first place. Most of it comes from china and is dug out of the ground with steam shovels and hauled away on huge diesel powered dump trucks... so if you want more lithium they have to pollute more to get it. And lets not forget that on a standard home outlet these electric monstrosities take 8 hours to fully charge. Unless all of our homes are going to start carrying a 480v 50a plug to plug our cars into specifically that is (and even then it's still almost an hour to "refuel" the thing).

Electric vehicles are just a waste of good engineering IMO. Stick with making a better gasoline car and maybe work on improving hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The Honda one has 138hp and a couple hundred mile range and it only takes about 5 min to refill the tank. That sounds more like how our country is set up than this incompetent 80mile range bs. While 80 miles might be ok for people who live in a densely packed city there are those of us who live outside the city and commute an hour or so to work. 63 miles one way to work and uh oh... cant get home now cause I drive a cheap POS electric vehicle... Thanks Detroit for "saving the planet" in your mind and screwing me out of a useful vehicle!

To quote larry the cable guy, "its like standing next to a bonfire and turning to the guy next to you and asking him to put out his cigarette because it's getting hot in here" man made global warming is a total fraud stop worrying about it and move on with your lives people!

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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