The electric version of Ford's Transit Connect is slated to go on sale next spring, but it needs to be assembled first. AM General, the company responsible for our military's Humvees and the Hummer H2, has secured a deal to equip the Transit Connects with electric drive systems.

To start, Ford will ship its Turkey-built Transit Connect vans straight to an AM General facility in Livonia, Michigan. AM General will then install the electric powertrain and liquid-cooled, lithium-ion battery pack supplied by Azure Dynamics, another Michigan-based firm. The battery-powered system gives the Transit Connect EV an 80-mile range and a top speed of 75 mph.

While known for building large -- and inherently fuel-thirsty -- vehicles, AM General was worked on electric vehicle ventures in the past. The South Bend, Indiana-based company provided 350 Jeep EVs to the U.S. Postal Service in 1975. Electric Humvees and compressed natural gas-powered vans have also been in the mix.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)