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Ford thinks commercial fleets are perfect for EVs  (Source: The Detroit News)
Connect has 80 mile driving range

Pure EVs are still relatively rare in the U.S. compared to hybrids that are rather commonplace, but there are a few ready to hit the streets including the Nissan Leaf. Now Ford has announced that its electric Transit Connect vans are ready to ship.

The Transit Connect is a commercial delivery van that just happens to be plug-in EV. The Transit started shipping Tuesday of this week and Ford estimates that the Transit EV will make up about half of its total EV sales over the next decade.

The Transit EV is sized well for corporate fleets according to
The Detroit News. The electric Transit Connect will sell for $57,400 and has a range of 80 miles on a full charge. The vehicle will have a 10-year 120,000 mile warranty. That warranty length is typical for commercial vehicles. Ford plans to produce 600 to 700 Connect EV vans this year and then start producing the vehicles in Europe as well next year.

The van is targeting the small business and fleet operator that knows a defined route that will fit into the 80-mile range of the Connect. The DOT considers the average distance traveled each day by a commercial vehicle to be 41 miles.

Ford's Sherif Marakby, director for electrification and engineering, said, "You could view the commercial market as ideal. Drivers know the routes and the driving is predictable." 

Interestingly, Ford's major rival GM is not looking to the commercial market for its EVs. GM is looking to the consumer market with hybrids and its extended range electric vehicle known as the Volt. GM plans to launch pure EVs in China, but those vehicles may not come to America.



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RE: what a joke...
By Spuke on 12/9/2010 12:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Honestly, providing a long warranty on a vehicle using brand new tech like this is going to drive quite a lot of sales IMHO regardless of the price.
Maybe some billion dollar business that has the money to burn could afford to buy these and not have the purchase make sense but smaller companies (which this would have the largest impact on) won't touch it with a 10 foot pole. It's about the bottom line with smaller (multi-million and below) businesses. They can't afford to blow cash/credit on bullsh!t. A better buy would be a diesel or even a hybrid Transit.


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