Ford is driving closer to its goal of producing an all-electric car with the announcement of an electric van for North America for 2010. The Ford Transit Connect BEV will incorporate a drivetrain from Azure Dynamics and lithium ion batteries from Johnson Controls-Saft.
The van will get 80 miles before needing to be charged and will be sold into fleets, according to Ford Manager of corporate news Jennifer Moore. She said Ford will produce the van in low volumes and has not announced any customers so far.
Azure Dynamics, which Ford had worked with before, was brought in to replace Smith Electric Vehicles as the drivetrain partner. Moore said that Smith has decided to focus on medium duty trucks. Today Smith Electric Vehicles announced it was working on a prototype electric postal delivery vehicle with AM General for the US Postal Service.
Ford hasn’t committed to Azure Dynamics — or anyone else — as a long term partner for it other EVs in development. Moore said Azure Dynamics’ extensive experience in building components for electrified vehicles made them an attractive partner.
Johnson-Controls-Saft will be the company’s battery partner moving forward. In development are a Ford Focus EV for 2011, as well as an unnamed PHEV vehicle for 2012.
Ford is moving quickly in turning its successful Transit Connect, which only debuted this year, into an EV.
Delivery van fleets that operate on shorter routes are likely applications for EVs and PHEVs since they can be charged centrally overnight and provide sufficient driving range to complete a day’s work.
Article appearing courtesy of Matter Network