Ford commercial van goes electric

  • 23-Feb-2010 06:37 EST
TC Electric.jpg
The 114.6-in (2910-mm) wheelbase Transit Connect Electric will use a Force Drive electric powertrain manufactured and integrated by Azure Dynamics.

An all-electric version of the Transit Connect is the first modern electrified vehicle from Ford Motor Co.

Making its world debut at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show, the 2011 Transit Connect Electric will sport an electric powertrain manufactured and integrated by Azure Dynamics Corp.

The Transit Connect Electric's propulsion architecture includes a Siemens three-phase, 58-kW (continuous power) ac induction motor providing 158 N·m (117 lb·ft) continuous and 235 N·m (173 lb·ft) peak torques; an Azure Dynamics inverter; a BorgWarner single-speed transaxle; and a Johnson Controls-Saft 28 kW·h lithium-ion battery pack comprised of 16 modules (12 cells per module).

"The electric drivetrain is packaged in front of the rear axle and behind the rocker area, so it is between the chassis rails," said Ron Iacobelli, Chief Technology Officer with Azure Dynamics.

Both the Transit Connect and its electrified sibling offer 135 ft³ (3820 L) of cargo volume, split rear cargo doors that open 180° (standard) or 255° (optional), as well as power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering with a 39-ft (12-m) curb-to-curb turning circle.

Azure Dynamics' CEO Scott Harrison said, "Transit Connect Electric will nearly mirror the acceleration curves of the gasoline version, will have a top speed of 75 mph, and will be able to go up to 80 miles on a single charge."

The Transit Connect Electric goes into production in late 2010, followed by the Focus Electric in 2011, then a plug-in HEV, and next-generation hybrid technology in 2012.

Ford officials also announced the Transit Connect Taxi. The 2011 model year vehicle has a standard 2.0-L, four-cylinder gasoline engine and automatic transmission. Base and taxi versions of Transit Connect can be converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) via an engine prep package.

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