Ford Transit Connect Electric Provides Unique Choice for Fleet Owners with Zero-Emission Utility Vehicle
•Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics mark early production and first deliveries of Transit Connect Electric vans to customers
•The all-electric, zero-emissions Transit Connect Electric can be recharged using either an available 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlet
•Transit Connect Electric is ideal for fleet owners with well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily recharging
As Ford moves forward with its plan to bring five electrified vehicles to North America by 2012, it's also ensuring fleet owners have the same option with the zero-emissions small Transit Connect Electric van.
Transit Connect Electric will use a Force Drive electric powertrain manufactured and integrated by specialty upfitter Azure Dynamics.
'Transit Connect Electric is just one piece of our electrification strategy, but a very important one. It gives eco-friendly options to more than just passenger-vehicle customers,' said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford's Electrification Programs and Engineering. 'It's an excellent solution for fleet owners who need the extra space but want the benefits of the electric battery.'
Transit Connect Electric is well-suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and that have a central location for daily recharging.
Owners will have the option of recharging the Transit Connect Electric with either a standard 120-volt outlet with an optional transportable cord or preferably an available 240-volt charge station installed at the user's base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours.
The vehicle's charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is charged by connecting the charge port to a power outlet. Inside the vehicle, an onboard charger converts the AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.
Ford and Azure Dynamics marked early production and first deliveries of Transit Connect Electric vans to customers in December 2010, with production ramping up this month to begin to fill customer orders in North America and Europe. Green
When the vehicle is operating, battery power is provided to the drive motor through the electric powertrain's motor controller. The motor controller uses throttle input from the driver to convert DC power supplied by the battery into three precisely timed signals used to drive the motor.
The onboard DC/DC converter allows the vehicle's main battery pack to charge the onboard 12-volt battery, which powers various accessories such as headlights, power steering and coolant pumps.
In the Transit Connect Electric, the battery pack has been efficiently integrated without compromising interior passenger room and cargo space. The battery pack is designed to last the life of the vehicle. Collaborations
Transit Connect Electric builds on the existing business relationship between Ford and Azure Dynamics, as well as their shared experience with battery supplier Johnson Controls-Saft.
Oak Park, Mich.-based Azure Dynamics develops hybrid electric and electric drive technology for shuttle buses and commercial trucks, such as the Balance™ Hybrid Electric, which is built on the Ford E-450 cutaway and strip chassis for the medium-duty commercial vehicle segment.
Azure Dynamics' proprietary Force Drive battery electric powertrain will be the driving force in Transit Connect Electric. 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.
Johnson Controls-Saft was selected by Azure Dynamics as the supplier for lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs for Transit Connect Electric. Azure Dynamics and Ford both use Johnson Controls-Saft battery technology for other products. Quality
With a unique combination of cargo capacity, accessibility and low purchase costs, the Transit Connect is an ideal choice for electrification.
The Transit Connect Electric may potentially offer lower maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Consider the following:
•Electric vehicles require no oil changes or tuneups
•There are no belts to wear out or break and no spark plugs or injectors to clean or adjust
•The use of regenerative braking reduces wear and tear on brake pads
•Electric powertrains operate with solid state electronics, which have demonstrated low or no maintenance over the life of the product
•The number of components typical in an internal combustion engine and transmission are dramatically reduced in an electric vehicle to just a few moving parts in the electric motor and transaxle, which results in much fewer parts to wear out or maintain
•Electric vehicles have completely sealed cooling systems that do not require refilling, replacement or flushing Common strengths
Although there are significant differences between the Transit Connect Electric and its gas-powered twin, there are many things in common. Both models offer:
•135 cubic feet of cargo volume with 59.1 inches of floor-to-ceiling load height and 47.8 inches of load width between the wheel arches
•Load length a generous 72.6 inches, or more than six feet of cargo floor space
•Split rear cargo doors that open at a standard 180 degrees, or an optionally available 255 degrees
•Lift-over height less than two feet when the vehicle is unloaded
•Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering allows a 39-foot curb-to-curb turning circle for maneuverability in tight urban spaces
•Bulkheads, racks, bins and other upfits can be mixed, matched and configured to suit many specific commercial applications and needsSource - Ford