Ford Begins Shipping Electric Vans

Ford Motor Co. says it began shipping electric-powered versions of its Ford Transit Connect vans to certain customers in North America. The company is also delivering the vans to the United Kingdom for a demonstration project.

The car maker earlier this year said it was working with partner Azure Dynamics to convert the vans, which are normally powered by gasoline or diesel engines, to electric power. Under the partnership Ford provided rolling vehicle bodies, called gliders, and Azure Dynamics installed its Force Drive battery-electric powertrain with another partner, AM General, at its plant in Livonia, Mich. THE drive system includes a lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls-Saft. Ford says the vans are reaching customers 13 months after it first announced the project.

All of the vehicles assembled in early batches have been spoken for by seven companies that will begin taking delivery this year. They include the New York Power Authority, AT&T, Southern California Edison, Xcel Energy, Johnson Controls Inc., Canada Post and Toronto Atmospheric Fund EV300. The companies say they will name additional customers by year’s end.

While the Ford project is for commercial customers, and the company says it doesn’t plan to sell the vans to consumers, the broad rollout of electric vans reflects a broader commitment to electric power across the auto industry. Several car makers including Ford, General Motors Co., Nissan and Mitsubishi are planning to start selling electric passenger cars to consumers starting this year or next.

Unlike past forays into electric vehicles, the current move by car makers is part of a strategy to meet stricter federal standards for fuel economy and emissions. Many people in the car business say car companies will have an especially hard time doing so without a significant number of electric vehicles in their retail fleets.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s