Ford and Azure Dynamics to develop hybrid vans

If you've ever traveled through an airport in North America you've surely seen all the shuttle vehicles moving travelers between terminals, and to parking lots and rental cars pickup areas. These vans typically operate at relatively low speeds, stop and start a lot and don't go very far. As such they are ideal candidates for hybrid power-trains so that the regenerative braking can charge the batteries. A large proportion of these shuttles are either stock Ford E-series full size vans, or are the short buses built on E-series cutaway chassis. Ford is going to be teaming up with Vancouver, British Columbia based Azure Dynamics convert E-350 and E-450 commercial chassis to hybrid power-trains. Ford is going to work with Azure on the development and then ship vehicles to Azure's facility for conversion. Azure specializes in developing and selling control systems for hybrid and electric vehicles. This would be a great way help clean up the air in those pickup and drop-off areas at airports, as well as in cities where these vehicles are likely to be used as delivery vehicles as well. The vans should be available by early 2008.

[source: GreenCarCongress]

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