Azure Dynamics said Wednesday that Lotus Lightweight Structures, a division of Group Lotus plc, will provide assembly support for the Ford Transit Connect Electric for the European market.
Lotus Lightweight Structures will be responsible for upfitting Azure’s patented ForceDrive battery electric powertrain into Ford Transit Connect gliders from its facility in Worcester, UK, beginning in June 2011.
The Lotus Lightweight Structures facility in Worcester, England will receive Transit Connect gliders shipped from the Ford manufacturing location in Turkey, and ForceDrive electric components from Azure and its supplier facilities. Lotus Lightweight Structures will provide all final assembly operations for vehicles bound to the European market.
Many European fleet owners have participated in early Transit Connect Electric demonstration programs and expressed enthusiasm for the vehicle’s performance and eco characteristics. On a full charge, Transit Connect Electric has a range between 80 KM/50 miles and 130 KM/80 miles depending on auxiliary power usage and drive cycle. It is rechargeable using standard European 220/240-volt outlets within 6 to 8 hours. Commercial fleet vehicles generally return to a central location at the end of a driving cycle making them perfect for recharging overnight.