Back in 2007, Southern California Edison (SCE) cemented its partnership with Ford Motor Company by becoming the first utility to join with the automaker to accelerate the commercialization of electrified vehicles. Under the partnership, SCE received the first of a batch of Ford Escape plug-in hybrids that would eventually make their way to demonstration fleets across the country. By year's end, Ford's latest electrified vehicle, the Transit Connect Electric, will join SCE's expanding alternative-fuel fleet and eventually replace some of the gas-powered trucks used in the company's meter service fleet.
Plans call for one of the limited-supply Transit Connect Electrics to be delivered to SCE in late 2010, with 19 more headed to the California utility company in 2011. The battery-powered Transit vans will be deployed in 12 cities in SCE's SoCal service area. The electric Transit is a true collaborative effort that features the bones of the Ford-built van with an integrated powertrain produced by Azure Dynamic and a li-ion battery pack from Johnson Controls-Saft. With its range estimated at 80 miles and capable cargo-hauling design, the "zero-emissions" Transit Connect Electric is one remarkably clean fleet machine.