• Mar 28th 2012 at 3:54PM
  • 66
The news of Azure Dynamic's bankruptcy protection filing is rippling through the EV world – especially among people who have purchased the Ford Transit Connect Electric (TCE) delivery van. Azure is the company that adds the all-electric powertrain to Ford's practical little hauler.

For now, no new TCEs will be made. Azure's Mike Elwood told AutoblogGreen that production of the Transit Connect Electric has stopped as a result of the restructuring and that, "While we go through our restructuring there will be no TCE activity until we present an approved plan." So, what happens to people who have purchased a TCE and need help fixing the vehicle? Elwood said, "We are currently working on a service plan that we should be able to release next week pertaining to all AZD vehicles in the marketplace." Warranty issues will be a part of this plan.

How will this situation affect Azure's other green vehicle programs, like the Balance hybrid vans? All Elwood would say is that, "Our green vehicle program will continue relative to the restructuring."

Ford's Wes Sherwood told AutoblogGreen that Azure's filing does not affect Ford's overall EV and green-vehicle strategy. "Our priority is to ensure that Azure's Transit Connect Electric customers continue to have support throughout their ownership experience," he said. "Our Ford electric vehicle product plans remain on track, as part of our commitment to provide customers the power of choice for fuel economy solutions across our lineup – from EcoBoost-powered vehicles and hybrids to plug-in hybrids and full electrics."


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  • 66 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 7 Months Ago
      wasn't Azure one of the many companies that were too good to sell their product to those who wanted it?
        EVnerdGene
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        send $30k, they were always willing to sell to me
      electronx16
      • 7 Months Ago
      A $57,400 mini van with all of 56 miles of EPA rated range, guess it never really was a winning formula.... Still...it's another EV initiative down the drain in a time that there is a little bit too much of that going on. Sad.
        Sasparilla Fizz
        • 7 Months Ago
        @electronx16
        Well said electronx16.
        Spec
        • 7 Months Ago
        @electronx16
        Yeah, it was clearly just a incentive play. It would not be able to compete with Nissan's e-NV200, the Mitsubishi-i, or other better/cheaper alternatives.
      RC
      • 7 Months Ago
      I wish them the best of luck in their restructuring. It was Azure that kick-started Ford's EV program. By the same token it is a shame that journalists like John Mcelroy from Autoline Detroit use this story to tank EVs. Hey John, it ain't gonna happen. As far as I'm concerned you and your negativity can go the way of the fossil fuels.
        Nick From Montreal
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RC
        McElroy & Co are part of old Detroit: they failed to predict GM and Chrysler going bankrupt but insist on predicting that all EVs will fail. When confronted by EV enthusiasts, he claims to love EVs (at least the Volt), but then proceeds to bash them on every show. Too bad... Older auto journalists don't like anything new. That's OK: It's up to bloggers and other new media journalists to push for more EVs while exposing scammers (EStor, Zenn) and green-washing artists (BMW, Daimler).
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 7 Months Ago
      Wow, grossly over priced and they still can't make it. This does not effect Fords EV offerings at all. "We still intend to introduce no economies of scale so we can show how much EV's cost and how little they do." "Here at Ford, pertaining to EV's, the only time we lie, is when our lips are moving."
        SVX pearlie
        • 7 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        "Wow, grossly over priced and they still can't make it. " The TCE has what appears to be $10+k of hardware and $20+k in labor & development cost. I think they Pretending that they have sold about 500 TCE, so that's only $10M for people labor over probably 2+ years. $10M really isn't that much in the car business.
        Spec
        • 7 Months Ago
        @EVSUPERHERO
        Well, the Transit Connect was tiny part of their electrification program compared to their hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and the Ford Focus Electric.
      • 7 Months Ago
      come on guys really ford should close there doors and give every body there money back
      • 7 Months Ago
      My company purchased the bulk of left over materials for 80 Transit Connect Electric Vehicles from the Azure Dynamics Auction. We are offering service parts to keep the vehicle running. David Setsuda CCI Companies davids@cci-companies.com
      AddLightness
      • 7 Months Ago
      Collapse? doubtful, most purchases have been by people with money to blow that don't need taxes credits. Just like any new market, the early adopters will drop the cash but its only a small fraction of the market, the key is accessing the average consumer (people that complains about a NEW TECHNOLOGY costing too much and therefore is garbage...) These people will not adopt a new technology until it is proven to them and outperforms the old technology. Nothing is wrong with this, its just the way it is.
      DaveMart
      • 7 Months Ago
      SVX: Ford associated themselves with Azure, so sure it is partially their responsibility. I'm betting they found a way to count that towards their carb allowance.
      • 7 Months Ago
      Self Generation of your electric system is needed for its integrity and it is achieve able.
      Sasparilla Fizz
      • 7 Months Ago
      I guess it depends on what you mean by collapse AddLightness. I think Spec is right here, lets say the Republicans (for the sake of argument) sweep both houses and the presidency in November. One of the first things many have said they'd do is go after the plug in tax credit (amidst jokes about the Volt and Leaf) - so lets say that happens. While I think the plug-in market would still exist I think it would be pummeled - drastically reducing the number of monthly sales (I'd guess by much more than 50% since the early adopters are already taken care of) which seems like collapse to me (but not death) - I don't think it would kill the market but it would set it back a good number of years...JMHO of course. Hopefully we don't have to live through that eventuality. ;-)
      SVX pearlie
      • 7 Months Ago
      Dave, this isn't Ford's doing - they're passing Azure's cost back to the customer. Azure is a small company, and they're simply spreading their cost across the extremely tiny number of cars they modify, because they have no other choice.
      Breconeer
      • 7 Months Ago
      It was Smith Electric Vehicles who developed this vehicle with Ford. Launched originally as the Smith Ampere (image searches will bring up plenty of examples). That relationship was disolved , with Smith saying their time and money was best focussed on the bigger Smith Newton electric truck which was already in routine production and selling. I don't know if that was the real reason - or whether Ford gave them the elbow for some other reason before teaming up with Azure instead. Will Ford reopen their Smith partnership to keep the Connie BEV going? Ford already provide the base vehicle for the bigger Smith Edison model (hundreds sold in UK/Europe, and soon to be on sale in the US). Ford will be producing that bigger van (called the Transit in Europe, and not to be confused with the (smaller) Transit Connect), building them at their Kansas City plant - just along the road from Smith's main plant. Or maybe Azure will recover and continue meeting Ford's expectations?
        mustang_sallad
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Breconeer
        "It was Smith Electric Vehicles who developed this vehicle with Ford." - did Smith even get to a running prototype? My understanding was that Smith bailed, Ford scrambled to find somebody else who could pull it off in time, and Azure basically started from scratch with about 12 months to deliver the first sales, which they pulled off. See here: http://green.autoblog.com/2010/02/12/quick-spin-ford-transit-connect-electric-a-good-sign-of-things/
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