• Dec 17, 2008
Click above for a gallery of the Ford Transit Connect van

Ford's business plan submitted to Congress a few weeks ago indicated that the Detroit-based automaker would be offering a "full battery electric vehicle in a van-type vehicle for commercial fleet use in 2010." Up until this point, we were left to speculate on the basis for the new EV, but Ford CEO Alan Mulally has now revealed that the new Blue Oval van will be based on the European Ford Transit that's scheduled to hit U.S. shores in the summer of 2009. We expect to hear more about the upcoming electric van over the next few months, possibly at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but the fact that it'll be based on the Transit should come as little surprise. The only other cargo vehicle that the automaker has at its disposal is the full-size, rear-wheel-drive E-Series, and that platform would be much less appropriate for an urban electric vehicle than the lighter, front-wheel-drive Transit van.


[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]


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  • 23 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting. However, how many people can I put in the back?
        • 6 Years Ago
        That will depend on how you put them. ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        This van is meant for businesses, but you could still sit 5 people in it if you needed to. Like the pictures show, it's meant for small businesses (flower shops, catering, installers, event organizers). A person I know has a mobile detailing business (he comes to you to clean/polish/wax/etc your car) and currently he uses a gutted 3dr. Windstar. When word of this van coming here first came out, he said that this would be his first pick once the Windstar becomes too old or ceases to work. Great alternative to the HHR Panel as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For those confused:
      The Transit is a ladder-frame van based on the Ranger sold around the world (a little bit bigger than and mostly unrelated to the Ranger sold in the US).
      The Transit Connect is a unibody minivan based on the Focus sold around the world.
      Got it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Install seven seats (2-3-2), rear side windows, give it some interior, and start selling it as a small minivan. With the right size engine (2.0L max) and manual transmission option it would be a dream familly hauler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      electric delivery vans in north america? very cool!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure that these are native OEM 5-gen Honda Prelude headlights :) Because of these headlights, it somehow looks like a van version of Prelude. Even more than Fusion :)
      • 6 Years Ago
      If anyone wants details of the electric versions, go look at http://www.smithelectricvehicles.com

      The Smith Ampere is based on the Ford Transit Connect. The Smith Edison is based on the Ford Transit.

      Smith have been working closely with Ford Europe for ages. The Smith vehicles are dual-badged as Ford. The Smith Ampere was displayed by Ford on the Ford stand at CV-2008, the commercial vehicles show last April (NEC, Birmingham, UK). Check out the Case Studies page for images of the Smith Edison in use.

      Smith have been making EVs for 80 years(!), in which time they've quietly delivered an estimated 70 thousand of them worldwide. Nice to see America taking notice at last ;o)
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...i love this van...i think this would be a hit for Ford...i work for FEDEX...these would be great for small shuttle runs!!! Mr Smith,ya listenin in Memphis??
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nopliz - it's been done already, in Europe some time ago. See http://www.harikaarabalar.com/data/media/369/ford_transit_connect.jpg
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's base some other Fords on the European models. *wink wink nudge nudge*
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uh...that's been the plan for a while *cough* Focus and Fusion *cough*...
      stealthebeatles
      • 6 Years Ago
      I wish they'd bring the full-size Transit here to replace the E-series. The rest of the world has such better vans than we do.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @stealthebeatles
        what's your problem with e-series?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @stealthebeatles
        Robert: which one? Transit, or Transit Connect?

        The Transit is a large van, available in a six-wheel configuration. (The UK police use these for picking up chavs.) These are about the size of an E-series van, except they have a lower floor and a higher roof.

        The Connect is a car-sized van -- like the "panel van" idea, only not a converted car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @stealthebeatles
        They are bringing the Transit. For the 2011MY, I think (maybe a 2012). But it was part of their presentation on platform consolidation during their Q2 earnings call. They've actually already had some Transits over at Avon Lake to start designing for the new production.

        The Transit Connect comes this summer (Job1 in April). It is likely that any electric van will be based on that platform since there has already been extensive prototyping of such a vehicle.

        The E-series and Transit are being merged. The Transit has three drive modes: RWD, AWD and FWD. It is actually expected that all will make it here over time. It is unclear what Ford will do with the bus/RV/Ambulance market. The new Transit will probably be acceptable, but many of the customizers would probably have to significantly retool to handle the new platform. The Tranist is every bit as durable as the E-series has been and can take similar loads (the current max GVWR is somewhere around 11,000 which may actually be more than the max E-series that isn't customized).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I want on sooooo bad! not the electric one though
      • 6 Years Ago
      So, will NYC have electric taxis then?
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