Dearborn, Mich. Ford Motor Company has expanded its partnership with Azure Dynamics to deliver an all-electric Ford Transit Connect van for the U.S. and Canadian markets in 2010. The collaboration will also leverage their relationship with battery supplier, Johnson Controls-Saft.
Aimed at commercial fleet and retail use, the Transit Connect BEV is the first production vehicle based on Ford’s accelerated electric vehicle strategy. This offers fleet owners the opportunity to eliminate the use of gasoline and help lower operating costs with a zero-emissions option.
Azure Dynamics, based in Oak Park, Mich., will integrate its proprietary Force Drive battery electric drive train in the Transit Connect BEV, and Johnson Controls-Saft will supply lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs.
The Transit Connect BEV will be built on Ford’s global commercial vehicle platform as part of the company’s One Ford global product vision. It is the first of four electrified vehicles from Ford that will become available over the next three years in the U.S. and Canada including:
- Battery electric Transit Connect van in 2010
- Battery electric Ford Focus passenger car in 2011
- Next-generation hybrid vehicle in 2012
- Plug-In hybrid vehicle in 2012
The Transit Connect BEV has a targeted range of 80 miles minimum on a full charge and zero tailpipe emissions. 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 Transit Connect BEV will use the same proven cell technology that is currently deployed in the Ford Escape plug-in hybrid fleet that is on the road today. Azure previously announced it would use Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion batteries for its E- 450 Balance Hybrid Electric beginning in the second half of 2010. The shared supplier business relationship is expected to provide additional synergy between Ford and Azure in the Transit Connect BEV project, said Ford.
The final manufacturing location for the Transit Connect BEV has not yet been determined.