"The Norwegian Post will be an environmental leader in the mail and logistics industry by taking advantage of the latest technology available," said Dag Mejdell, CEO, Norwegian Post. "In signing a contract for delivery of the new Ford Transit Connect Electric, the Norwegian Post is taking an important step towards its goal of reducing 150.000 tonnes of CO2 annually."
Ford and Azure are introducing the Transit Connect Electric in summer 2011, as increasing numbers of fleet operators are demanding the benefits of efficient, clean alternative power for their vehicles.
With 28 kWh of power to call on, Transit Connect Electric has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) and a range of up to 130 km (80 miles) on a full charge.
"Transit Connect Electric was designed and engineered with customers like Norwegian Post in mind," said Scott Harrison, Azure CEO. "The ForceDrive™ powertrain excels under the types of urban driving conditions that the Transit Connect Electric is likely to encounter during postal delivery routes. We’re honoured to have Norwegian Post as our inaugural customer in Europe and are eager to help them achieve the environmental, operational and performance goals that they seek."
Ford’s Global Electric vehicle plan
The Ford Transit Connect Electric – Ford’s first all-electric vehicle in Europe – is the first of five electrified vehicles that Ford plans to launch in Europe by 2013. Next comes the Ford Focus Electric in 2012, followed by the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, as well as another hybrid electric model in 2013.
"By providing a variety of electrified vehicles, we are making it easier for our customers to embrace this fuel-saving technology," said Thormod Skofsrud, managing director, Ford Norway. "This strategy is true to our heritage of making innovative technology available to as many people as possible and to our vision of developing great products."
Practical and affordable
Transit Connect Electric will offer European operators the opportunity to eliminate petrol bills in their small vans and help to lower overall maintenance and running costs.
Ford’s Transit Connect commercial platform is an ideal choice for battery electric power thanks to its unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, generous cargo capacity, easy accessibility and low operation costs.
With a cargo volume 3.8 m3 and a payload of 500 kg, Transit Connect Electric will particularly appeal to operators who travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop and go driving. Transit Connect Electric can be recharged using standard European 220/240-volt outlets in approximately eight hours. Commercial van users generally return to a central location at the end of a driving cycle perfect for recharging over night.
The Transit Connect Electric is a pure electric-powered version of the award-winning, long-wheelbase Transit Connect light commercial vehicle. Azure’s proprietary Force Drive™ powertrain uses an advanced lithium ion battery pack designed by Johnson Controls-Saft to power the vehicle that produces zero tailpipe emissions.
Azure’s ForceDrive™ powertrain has previously been deployed in more than 40 vehicle integrations and has more than 35 million miles of on-the-road experience.
Tried and tested
The Transit Connect Electric goes on sale in European markets this summer following its successful launch in North America in December 2010.
‘Glider’ units – complete vehicles except for the powertrain – are shipped from the Ford Otosan manufacturing facility in Kocaeli, Turkey, directly to an Azure-contracted up-fitter for final assembly. The completed Transit Connect Electric vehicles are then sold by Azure Dynamics through a specially-created network of dealerships. The European Transit Connect Electric will be badged with both the Ford Blue Oval and Azure’s Force Drive logo.
Transit Connect Electric builds on an existing relationship between Ford and Azure and battery supplier Johnson Controls-Saft.
"Transit Connect Electric exemplifies how we are leveraging our relationships as well as our hybrid and advanced powertrain programs to bring energy-efficient technologies from the laboratory to the street," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. "Not only is this an ideal vehicle for eco-conscious fleet operators, it is an important part of Ford’s future."
Transit Connect Electric Technical data
* ‘Glider’ assembly at Ford Otosan plant in Kocaeli, Turkey
* Final assembly by Azure Dynamics Corporation
* Siemens AC induction motor, Azure Dynamics inverter
* Borg-Warner transaxle, Johnson Controls-Saft battery pack
* System voltage range 260V – 380V
Electric drive system
* Motor Siemens model 135, 3-phase AC induction motor, 300V nominal, liquid-cooled
* Torque 158 Nm (continuous) / 235 Nm (peak)
* Transmission Borg-Warner 31-03, single-speed
* Gear ratio 8.28:1
* IEC 62196 type 1
* Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion pack
* Capacity 28 kWh, 16 modules / (192 cells)
* Voltage range 215V – 390V / charger – 3.3 kW
Weights and capacities
* Maximum payload 500 kg
* Curb weight 1791 kg (est.)
* Cargo volume 3.8 m3
* Driving range up to 130 km (80 miles) per full charge
* Charge time of around 8 hours for full cycle using 230 V
* Top speed 120 km/h (75 mph)
* Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) in 12 seconds (based on kerb weight)
* 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) in 15 seconds (based on gross vehicle weight rating)
Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC: AZDDF) is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. Azure is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus markets and is currently working internationally with a variety of partners and customers. The Company is committed to providing customers and partners with innovative, cost-efficient, and environmentally-friendly energy management solutions.