Following yesterday's announcement that Canada Post would acquire 1,175 Ford Transit Connects for its fleet, DTE Energy has acquired 19 of the vans as part of its sustainability efforts. DTE Energy is one of two utilities that dominate the Michigan market for electricity and natural gas. DTE Energy is currently using the first batch of vehicles to deliver inter-office mail as well as deliver equipment and materials from warehouses.
The Transit Connect is rated at 22 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway by the EPA which is the primary reason for DTE to choose it. The Transit Connect is replacing full-size vans and pickups in these initial applications and is achieving double the real world mileage. Some of the service personnel that use the Transit Connect are on call so they take the vehicles home. Having an enclosed vehicle like the TC provides extra security for parts and tools as well as extra convenience for reaching everything.
If the initial pilot phase works out, DTE will likely add more Transit Connects to its fleet. With the recent announcement of the compressed natural gas Transit Connect taxi, it wouldn't be surprising to see DTE use the same fuel in many of its own vehicles in addition to using the Transit Connect Electric when it goes on sale later this year.