Ford brings its ‘eh’ game to EVs

MICHAEL VAUGHAN

Globe and Mail Update
Published on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 11:54AM EST

Ford has finally announced its first two all-electric vehicles and both are going to be loaded with Canadian technology.

First up will be an electric version of the Transit Connect utility van, which will be developed by Vancouver’s Azure Dynamics. Next will be a lithium battery version of the next-generation Focus, which is being developed by Magna.

The Ford Magna project was announced last year and now it seems that Ford has decided to commercialize the result, although no launch date has been specified. Electrifying the Transit Connect is right up Azure’s alley – it has been removing gas engines and replacing them with electric drivetrains for years, mostly in delivery vans. Unfortunately for Canada, Azure recently moved much development work to Michigan to take advantage of the “green” subsidies and loans rolled out by the Obama administration in the United States.

It’s interesting that Ford has decided to rely on suppliers for its first two all-electrics rather than doing all the development internally. When Alan Mulally, now Ford CEO, was running Boeing Commercial Aircraft he took the same outsourcing route in the development of the 787 Dreamliner – the aircraft that is now three years late. I trust the Canadian companies won’t let him down.

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