Ford Transit Connect Electric
A new, green version of the Transit Connect is coming, and, oddly, it has a link to Hummer. Starting with the 2011 model year an electric Transit Connect commercial van will be available. The vans will be shipped from the factory in Turkey to an AM General (the company that built Hummers) facility in Michigan, where Azure Dynamics' electric system will be installed.
The Transit Connect Electric can be charged via 120- or 240-volt AC. The port is just above the passenger-side rear wheelwell. Plugged into 240-volt power, it should take six to eight hours to charge the van -- longer with 120-volt -- for a driving range of 80 miles and a maximum speed of 75 mph. While this doesn't sound like much of a range, if the van is being used for deliveries, or along predictable routes, companies -- or even cities -- can get a lot done within that range. The van uses a motor controller and inverter, which converts the DC power from the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack, to three-phase AC for the motor. The motor then converts that energy into torque. The transmission is a single-speed Borg-Warner, with a fixed-ratio gear reduction. Ford expects the electric van to accelerate much like the regular Transit Connect.
The zero-emissions van also has plenty of "normal" attributes too. It still has features like air conditioning and power rack-and-pinion steering.
And it has a GVWR of 5005 pounds and an estimated maximum payload of 1000 pounds -- lower than that of the regular Transit Connect because of the added weight of the electric system -- and provides 135 cubic feet of cargo space. The Transit Connect Electric will be offered only as a cargo van, and goes on sale in late 2010.