• Feb 7th 2010 at 12:53PM
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Ford Transit Connect at Chicago 2009 – Click above for high-res image gallery

At the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, Ford unveiled its Transit Connect utility van for the U.S. market. In 2009, the company was back with the urban delivery vehicle, this time decorated for use by a variety of small businesses, and confirmed that a plug-in version would be coming to the U.S. At the 2010 show, which starts next week, the Transit Connect will be back, and this time Ford will be displaying the all-electric version. Finally.

There are not a lot of surprises left to learn out about the Transit Connect BEV. Ford is working with Azure Dynamics on the vehicle (not Smith Electric Vehicles), which will use li-ion batteries from Johnson Controls-Saft to get a range of about 80 miles a charge. The van will be available to commercial fleets sometime later this year, and we'll be in Chicago and will try and get for information from Ford about when the vehicle will be available and how much it might cost.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would you build an electric vehicle and then load it with almost always unnecessary heavy steel or diamon-plate shelving and storage?
      These things should be using some type of lightweight recyclable modular shelving.
      It would save energy and perhaps resale value as the vehicle would not be so single purposed.
        • 8 Months Ago
        True. Also the canoes on the top is kind of silly. This vehicle is good at stops and starts and level ground. It's not good at high speeds, long distances or climbing hills. If you carry canoes, you're talking about driving relatively long distances on country roads (which are best navigated at highway speeds). At your destination, you are likely going to be going into and back out of a canyon (which is where rapids are generally located) and you most likely won't have any power source on-site at put-in/take-out to recharge from.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would love to see a hybrid version of this.
      I think we'll see many contractors using this BEV as it will allow them to differentiate themselves from other trades. I do around 70 miles a day inspecting new home construction, this would be perfect as I could give it an hour or more plug in boost whilst I do each inspection.
      Many trades that visit peoples homes could do the same, offer a slightly reduced rate in return for a plug whilst on site. They already use the homes power for their tools, its not much of a step to do the same for a car especially as the cost is minimal.
      But build a plug in hybrid and we good whatever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've always thought this vehicle looked really awkward.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see these every so often. I do agree that they should include lightweight materials but strong enough to endure a contractors abuse. I doubt the battery version would go over well. Professionals have enough to deal with especially considering each trade builds a reputation on dependability and punctuality. It's easy to fill up with gas, but not when you forget to plug in your truck.
        • 8 Months Ago
        Fleets are likely to be the first users, and any slight hassles from running EV's are more than made up for by reduced maintenance.
        We know this because Smith has been making electric delivery vehicles for over 100 years in the UK, so is pretty good at matching usage patterns and so on to appropriate battery sizes and can provide maintenance records going back that far!
      • 5 Years Ago
      guys, I dont think the vehicles shown in the pictures are electric ones. if you look and read closely you will find out that those are the gas powered versions and that the electric connect WILL (read: not jet but sometime in the future) be shown.
      but besides that, youre right mike, there is enough alternative fabric which would be lighter and more environmental friendly produced. its time for such solutions!
        • 8 Months Ago
        You're right. I see exhaust pipes.
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