Ford Motor Company announced on Monday it will begin selling the Ford Transit Connect electric van in Europe beginning in late summer 2011.
Ford’s relationship with Michigan-based Azure Dynamics is already well established in North America and is now extending to Europe.
Ford will make the shells of the Transit Connect Electric vans at a factory in Kocaeli, Turkey, while the electric drivetrain will be assembled by Azure Dynamics Corp. of Oak Park, Mich. Shells will be shipped to a factory hired by Azure for final assembly.
The completed Ford Transit Connect Electric will then be sold by Azure Dynamics, who will define a specially-created network of dealerships. Repair works under the Ford warranty will be provided by Ford dealers. They will be offered in both right- and left-hand drive configurations. Further details of market availability and pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Azure is making the battery-electric system for the Transit Connect in the U.S. and Europe, which is to be ready for U.S. distribution late this year.
The Ford Transit Connect Electric is built on a dedicated global commercial van platform and offers a unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, significant cargo capacity, accessibility and low purchase and operating costs. It is already a proven success and an ideal choice for electrification.
The Transit Connect Electric will offer European fleet owners the opportunity to eliminate the use of diesel or petrol fuel in their small vans and help to lower operating costs. The vehicle will have a targeted range of up to 130 km/80 miles on a full charge and zero exhaust emissions. It will be rechargeable using standard European 220/240-volt outlets within 6 to 8 hours.
Azure’s Force Drive™ components have previously been deployed in more than 40 vehicle integrations and have more than 25 million miles of on-the-road experience. The European Transit Connect Electric will be badged with both the Ford Blue Oval and Azure’s Force Drive logo like its North American sibling.
In North America, Azure develops hybrid electric and electric drive technology for shuttle buses and commercial trucks, such as the Balance™ Hybrid Electric, which is built on a Ford E-450 ‘cutaway and strip’ chassis for the medium duty commercial vehicle segment.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]