Ford and its conversion partner Azure Dynamics have announced that electric and natural gas utility Xcel Energy will be the first customer for the upcoming Transit Connect Electric. Starting late this year, Xcel will get 13 of the battery-powered cargo vans with two retained for its internal fleet and the rest going to partners in its pilot deployment project.
Ford hasn't publicly announced pricing or production volumes for the Transit Connect Electric, but Xcel will pay $20,000 toward the purchase of each of the 11 vans that will go to government agencies, municipalities and businesses. Currently, the city of St. Paul, MN is scheduled to get the first electric van.
Azure will be upfitting the Transit Connect gliders that it gets from a Ford factory in Turkey with an electric motor and a Johnson Controls-Saft lithium ion battery for an expected range of about 80 miles. The installation work will be handled at an AM General Facility in Livonia, MI.