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Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

Technically, Azure Dynamics – not Ford – is the manufacturer of record for the Transit Connect Electric. That's why it's AD that's thrilled to announce that sales of the electric van are booming and that production will be ramped up to meet soaring demand.

AD says that some 700 battery-powered Transits will be delivered by the end of 2011. Azure chief executive officer Scott Harrison says "the order book is building" for the Transit Connect and notes that there are already some 40 to 50 units on the streets.

Most of the initial sales, about 500 according to Harrison, will be in North America, with the remainder selling in Europe, particularly Scandinavia and the UK. However, Harrison believes that high fuel prices in Europe will eventually tip the scales the other way.

The Transit Connect Electric stickers at $57,400, but qualifies for the $7,500 federal tax incentive, which means that for $49,900, fleet customers in the U.S. get a van that emits absolutely nothing, travels 60 to 80 miles on a full charge and costs little to "refuel."



[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req.]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      vazzedup
      • 4 Years Ago
      you'd think the USPS would be picking these up. has the range for almost all their deliveries, available in right hand drive, quiet, fairly affordable, and low running costs.
      GR
      • 4 Years Ago
      700 is great. Now go for 7,000.
      bscmth
      • 4 Years Ago
      A great application for EV's!
      mchlrus1
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ya this car should be the taxicab of the future of New York, but the lack of a mass produced battery by Ford drives up the price, because quite frankly i don't like the idea of Nissan NVs patrolling America most visited city by tourists and foreigners . What will they think when they see Japanese cars all around. This could diminish the image of American ingenuity even more. I thought that government funded vehicles had to be American.
        Breconeer
        • 4 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        American ingenuity? The 'Connie BEV' being produced by Azure was developed in the UK by Smith Electric Vehicles when that company was a subsidiary of Tanfield Group. It was called the Smith Ampere. The shells came from (and still come from) Ford plants in Turkey and Romania. Once the sales figures get up into the multi-thousands, Ford I imagine will take the reins and market it under their own name - Azure being used at present as a way of distancing Ford from any problems arising in these early years. Which is sensible enough. But with Ford being a global company (merely headquartered in the US nowadays), it's anyone's guess where they might build it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How the heck Azure reckons that once the Renaults are on sale they are going to sell any at all in Europe at anything remotely like that price escapes me: http://www.renault-ze.com/fr-fr/gamme-voitures-electriques-renault-z.e./renault-kangoo-express-z.e./presentation-60114.html That's about $23,000 to buy after the 5,000 Euro subsidy, plus battery lease of around $100 month. Even for 10 years the battery would only cost $12,000, total $35,000 but of course it does not work like that, as for a business you would allow for the interest the money would make in the bank or in the business if not laid out on the van to buy the batteries up front.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        David, I've scratched my head over the inconstancy of the battery statements issued by Renault in relation to battery leasing. Maybe you can explain it? I can understand the battery plan that's offered as being good for the customer, but how can Renault afford it.? Carlos Ghosn states that the battery pack costs Renault approx $10000. The lease is for three years. so in three years Renault have recovered $3600. Renault have lost $7400, plus the interest on $10000 capital investment etc. How does Renault recover this loss? Does Renault simply subsidise the EV.? Does Renault have and eager buyer , maybe Better Place, for used EV batteries to be purchased at what would appear to be a very high price? Is Renault hoping everyone will exceed the state 9000 klm? Why is this not offered with Nissan products? Or is the stated battery price wrong, and Renault is purchasing/making a short life cheap battery pack?
          Marco Polo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @David. Well thank you for your thoughts. I'm not sure that your explanation bear deep scrutiny but it's a better explanation than I can conceive. Dangerous game, battery leasing at a loss. Auto-buyers are not the loyal brand buying market they once were.I hope it works out for Renault.
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          The only way it makes sense is if Renault reckon they can drive the price of batteries down far faster than the industry in general reckons and the subsidy is largely being applied to the battery for the time being, although that is not obvious from the overt structure, as in UK the lack of subsidy for commercial vehicles simply leads to the list price of the van being £5,000 more, and the battery hire staying around the same as in France. Electric cars ex battery are not inherently more expensive than combustion cars, so it makes sense for the price to be somewhere along the same levels, and the initial set up costs and so on are largely being offset by generous government loans to the factories themselves. So, if that is broadly correct, then you have a $10,000 battery pack which has a ~ $7,500 subsidy offset against it ( probably rather less in practise, with some of it pinched to off-set the car costs). Their battery lease prices make sense if the underlying battery cost were around $200kwh or perhaps a bit more, so they have raised $4,800 in the lease charges and have residual value in the partly used battery. So by the time they come to replace the battery, in 2015 or so, they reckon that they can drive costs down enough to support the $100/month lease charges even without the subsidy. It's extremely ambitious and aggressive, and of course simply in a different league to the likes of Ford, who are going for production of a few thousand a year rather than hundreds of thousands and so can't possibly turn out batteries at competitive costs, save maybe via a Tesla route of using commodity batteries. I was shocked too when I saw the lease prices.
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          BTW, I characterised their pricing strategy as both aggressive and ambitious, so I don't necessarily think that it will work out for them. OTOH I tend to see oil prices as being increasingly on an upward trend, so if they are the low cost mass-production leader they could win big time. I would love to see their costing spreadsheets, and the cost projections they have based their strategy on. It has to be based on what their battery engineers have told them, and they must be very bullish on costs.
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Well, the price appears to be a fact, so we are left with coming up with the best rationale we can.
      goodoldgorr
      • 4 Years Ago
      It lack a solar panel on the roof .
        EZEE
        • 4 Years Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        I would be curious how much longer it might extend the battery life. Even a few miles would be nice. Although Florida and out west would have the biggest benefit from the solar panel...
          EZEE
          • 4 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          @ David - Living in Florida - the thought of having a cooling fan in the car for when it is parked is great for an electric car, gasoline car, hover craft....
          • 4 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          Solar panels on the roofs of EVs can do quite a lot to extend range, as they can power fans for cooling when it is parked up, both reducing cabin temperature and helping to keep the battery near optimum.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not true. While the initial Smith Electric Vehicle Ampere prototype mule was built on top of the same engineless Ford Transit Connect glider chassis platform (produced at the Ford Koceli Turkey plant) used by the Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric, the entire TCE powertrain including traction motor controls, inverter, and power electronics and control software was entirely developed by Azure Dynamics' own engineering team in Boston and Vancouver. Smith Electric (SEV) pulled out of the project early on to focus on other products. There is no SEV intellectual property in the Azure powertrain production design. The electronics for the Johnson Controls battery pack are done here in the USA too! So it is good ol' American and Canadian ingenuity.
      EZEE
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow - $57K...that's a lot, although I suppose for city driving it has its practicality.... (yes I said $57K because the government is us, whether it is taxes or debt, so we all pay for it regardless).
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