Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ford Transit Connect Electric

Ford Transit Connect Electric

The First �SGreen Halo⬝ Truck

When a car company produces a �Shalo car,⬝ it can transform and transcend an entire brand or class of vehicles. In this era of high-tech eco-friendly automotive technologies, the halo has taken a decisively green tint. Witness the Toyota Prius, which until very recently, has been the single green halo car of the 21st century. With the introduction of the Ford Transit Connect Electric, unveiled at this week�"s Chicago Auto Show, Ford may have produced the first halo truck.

The small footprint delivery-style truck, which won Truck of the Year at last month�"s Detroit auto show, is a proven global success. Ford has sold more than 655,000 of the combustion engine Transit Connect since coming to market in 2003. The size and style of the truck, ideally suited to small businesses and fleets, fills a niche that has been neglected in the United States. Perhaps more importantly, the Transit Connect Electric, as a pure electric vehicle, is well suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and a central location for daily recharging.

When you combine the functionality and solid track record of the Transit Connect platform, with the built-in marketing opportunities for small businesses to emblazon the large exterior panels with green slogans such as �SZero-Emissions⬝ and �S100 percent electric,⬝ it makes for a compelling package.

The Ford Transit Connect Electric also demonstrates the company�"s focused strategy to use existing global vehicles, and to roll out hybrid and electric versions in those models as quickly as possible. Ford executives declined to answer questions from about whether the company would ever introduce a unique nameplate or design for a hybrid or electric car�only responding that nothing has been ruled out.

EV as Small Company Marketing Edge

To bring the Ford Transit Connect Electric to market, Ford tapped Azure Dynamics Corporation for the 55-kilowatt electric drivetrain system, which uses a sizable 600-pound 28-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack from Johnson Controls-Saft. The vehicle has a 75 mile per hour top speed and can drive up to 80 miles on a charge�perfectly fine for the needs of a local delivery cycle.

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