The Transit Connect Electric debuted at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show to rave revues. It will be the first of three battery-electric vehicles that Ford is scheduled to bring to the market through 2012. This is a zero-emissions, electric vehicle (EV) version of the original Transit Connect, which is a smaller, lower-cost, higher-mileage alternative to full-size commercial vans. The 2010 Transit Connect was recently named Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year. The Transit Connect Electric will be available to fleet operators in late 2010 and to regular consumers in 2011.
Ford is collaborating with Azure Dynamics Corporation to upfit the Transit Connect Electric with their Force Drive battery electric powertrain and Johnson Controls-Saft’s advanced lithium-ion battery technology. The electric drivetrain will be installed at a location to be determined in Michigan. The drivetrain consists of a 300-volt (nominal) electric motor rated at 173 pounds-feet of maximum torque.
The electric version will be well-suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban areas of town and have a central charging point for daily recharging. Start-stop city driving, which a delivery van would encounter, also plays to an electric vehicle’s strengths. The Transit Connect Electric will accelerate at a comparable rate to the original gas-powered version and will have a top speed of 75 mph.
The van has a range of up to 80 miles and can be recharged from a fully depleted state in approximately six to eight hours on 240 volts. Although consumers will have the option of 120 volts, charging will take longer. A transportable cord that is compatible with both types of outlets will be available for recharging at both types of locations. The charge port on the Transit Connect Electric is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The van has an onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack that is charged by connecting the charge port. An onboard charger converts the AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.
The Transit Connect Electric is expected to offer lower cost of operation since recharging with electricity is generally less expensive than refueling with gasoline. Electric vehicle drivers will also benefit from much lower maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. The number of components typically found in internal combustion engines and transmissions is dramatically reduced in electric vehicles to just a few moving parts in the electric motor and transaxle, which results in much fewer parts to wear out or maintain. Electric powertrains operate with solid state electronics, which have low or no maintenance over the life of the product. Additionally, electric vehicles have completely sealed cooling systems that do not require refilling, replacement or flushing. These vehicles do not require oil changes or tune-ups. They have no belts to wear out or break. There are no spark plugs or injectors to clean or adjust. Electric vehicles have no exhaust system to replace and no liquid fuel system to freeze or clog. Furthermore, these vehicles experience reduced wear and tear on brake pads due to the use of regenerative braking.
Ford will follow up the Transit Connect Electric with three more electrified vehicles: the Focus Electric in 2011, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in 2012, and a next-generation hybrid in 2012. Ford also introduced a Transit Connect taxi at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show. The taxi version uses gasoline, but can be converted to run on propane or compressed natural gas, which ads yet another alternative drivetrain for the Transit Connect.
Fuller Ford anxiously awaits the arrival of the new 2011 Transit Connect Electric later this year. As always, Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. This includes the Transit Connect Electric! Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s commercial truck leader. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check out our entire inventory at www.fullerisford.com.
See video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3r_xfo8vQFU