Chicago 2010: Ford Transit Connect Electric

, Posted by Sports Cars Fans at 9:09 AM

Ford Transit Connect Electric

As expected, Ford brought the latest (and greatest?) incarnations of the Transit Connect utility van to the Chicago Auto Show today. The battery-powered Transit Connect Electric was up first, perhaps because it fits so well into Ford's strategy of vehicle electrification (see also: Focus Electric coming next year, followed by a plug-in hybrid and a next-gen hybrid in 2012). At the very least, this is Ford's first battery-powered vehicle, said product development vice president Derrick Kuzak.

The practical and battery-powered delivery van (the standard version was named the North American Truck of the Year this year) uses a powertrain developed with help from Azure Dynamics Corporation. Called Force Drive, the 55 kW system uses a 28 kWh lithium ion battery pack from Johnson Controls-Saft, has a 75 mile per hour top speed and can drive up to 80 miles on a charge. Will these specs be enough for customers? Praveen Cherian, program manager for the Transit Connect Electric, said in a statement that:

We're excited about the potential for our electrified vehicles. People were a little hesitant about hybrid technology at first, but now they accept it and embrace it. We expect the same will be true of electric vehicles.
[Source: Ford]