"With our European Transit Connect Electric manufacturing set to commence this week, it’s critical that we organize a network of Ford dealerships for representation across Europe," said Ricardo Espinosa, Azure’s managing director in Europe. "The Pfohe Group has 90 years experience successfully representing Ford products to private and fleet customers and will be a valuable partner in presenting the Transit Connect Electric to German commercial fleet customers."
Philip Pfohe, general manager of Hugo Pfohe GmbH, also serves as the Chairman of the European Ford Dealer Association.
"It is vital that future transportation can be achieved in a more environmentally positive manner," said Pfohe. "To our knowledge, Transit Connect Electric is the best product in class to enable our customers to achieve their transportation needs with the environmental benefits of electric power. With a number of companies interested in understanding the potential of Transit Connect Electric, backed by German government support for electric vehicles in general, we believe that this vehicle is being introduced at exactly the right time."
With a unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, rugged load capacity and low operating costs, the Transit Connect Electric van is an ideal choice for German commercial fleet operators looking to reduce operational costs and lessen their impact on the environment.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently committed to having one million electric cars on German roads by 2020.
Azure’s strategy in Europe is to establish partnerships with carefully selected Ford dealerships to offer high quality sales and service activities in support of Transit Connect Electric. To that end, Transit Connect Electric will now be available via Hugo Pfohe stores in Hamburg (three stores), Schwerin (two stores), Bad Segeberg, Norderstedt, Lübeck, Kiel and Oldenburg. Pfohe also operates a fully-owned subsidiary in Bulgaria (Moto-Pfohe).
To create the Transit Connect Electric, Azure integrates its proven Force Drive[TM]electric powertrain into the award-winning Ford Transit Connect. Utilizing an advanced lithium-ion battery, Transit Connect Electric can achieve a range of up to 80-130KM/50-80 miles on a single charge and has a load capacity of 500kgs.
The Transit Connect Electric powertrain provides powerful benefits for commercial vehicle users who have drive cycles that often include predictable, short range routes with frequent stop/start driving in city/urban environments.
Azure’s manufacturing partner, Lotus Lightweight Structures, will begin assembling and shipping Transit Connect Electric vans next week from its plant in Worcester, UK. Completed vans will be shipped throughout Europe. Post Norway was previously announced as Transit Connect Electric’s first European customer with a 20-van order.
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.