The U.S. will be getting Ford's small, all-electric Transit Connect Electric utility van by the end of this year. Over in Germany, ten units of the larger Transit van will be converted to run on electric power by Smith Electric Vehicles for Ford's colognE-mobil project, which is already underway.

The goal of the colognE-mobil project is to " widen the scope for e-mobility solutions in German cities," which means trying to figure out how best to use plug-in vehicles there. The ten Transit vans will be configured a panel deliver vans (seven units), shuttle buses (two) and one chassis-cab. The colognE-mobil project is Ford's second test fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) along with the "Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles" demonstration initiative in the UK. Down the road, Ford plans on adding Focus BEVs to the German test fleet.

Smith Electric Vehicles has been selling battery-powered versions of the Transit to fleet customers since 2007. The company was supposed to provide the powertrains for the Transit Connect Electric in the U.S., but Ford switched over to Azure Dynamics last fall.

[Source: Ford]



Cologne, February 22, 2010 – Ford of Europe is stepping up its development of e-mobility solutions with participation in the colognE-mobil project now underway in Germany.

The colognE-mobil project will initially emphasise commercial vehicle application of pure electric powertrains, and Ford's participation furthers the company's commitment to accelerate the introduction of electric powertrains for a broad range of vehicles.

The German project will complement Ford's involvement in the UK Government's "Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles" demonstration initiative, which is focused on the evaluation of electric passenger cars.

colognE-mobil project partners and objectives
The objective of the colognE-mobil project is to widen the scope for e-mobility solutions in German cities.

In the project's first phase, Ford will provide ten Ford Transits into which UK-based Smith Electric Vehicles (SEV) will install their pure battery-electric powertrains. SEV has been marketing this vehicle as the Smith Edison for UK and European operators since 2007.

Ford and SEV will build seven Transit panel vans for delivery service companies, two Transit buses for shuttle services and one Transit chassis-cab that will be used by the public service department of Cologne. Later in the project, a number of Ford Focus BEVs will add to the range of vehicles tested.
Ford is responsible for the technical maintenance and service of the vehicles which will be primarily used in urban areas, and will evaluate customer experiences throughout the project period.

Local energy provider RheinEnergie AG will install the necessary charging infrastructure and will supply CO2-neutral electrical power provided by renewable energy sources. Furthermore, their focus will be on studying customer requirements and technical solutions to enable electrical power fueling for individual mobility solutions.

The integration of e-mobility solutions within Cologne's traffic infrastructure is the topic being researched by the City of Cologne as a partner in this project. Effects on the local air quality and noise targets, as well as on traffic safety, are areas the city is particularly interested in.

The fourth project partner is the University of Duisburg-Essen, which is providing scientific support and knowledge for the project. The University's scientists will use the data collected to create simulations that scale-up the results of the Cologne project to apply to the whole region of North-Rhine Westphalia.

All partners are looking at the reliability of the batteries, characteristics of charging and discharging cycles for daily-used battery electric vehicles, customer acceptance of BEVs and the charging technology and traffic safety.

The electric Ford Transit
The Smith Edison is a pure battery-electric vehicle based on the Ford Transit, and for the colognE-mobil project, vehicles provided by Ford will be converted by Smith Electric Vehicles, a Tanfield Group company, based in Washington, UK.

Since 2007, Tanfield have sold battery-electric versions of the Ford Transit medium commercial chassis directly to fleet customers in the UK and selected European countries, making it the ideal choice for the German project.

The state-of-the-art 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack, rechargeable via standard 32amp single phase mains socket within 8 hours, powers a 90 kW electric motor, which delivers its torque via a single speed transmission to the rear wheels. With a range of up to 160 km and top speed of 80 km/h, urban areas are the perfect habitat for the silent Ford Transit-based Smith Edison.

The colognE-mobil project is partly funded by the German government and the government of the Federal state of North-Rhine-Westphalia. Within the framework of "The Federal Government's National Development Plan for Electric Mobility." the project is part of the model region Rhine-Ruhr, one of eight sample regions in Germany. The government has the ambitious target to get one million electric vehicles on German roads by 2020.

UK 'Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicles' demonstration initiative
In the UK a consortium of Ford, Scottish and Southern Energy and Strathclyde University are preparing later this year to run a fleet of zero emissions prototype Ford Focus BEVs.

The vehicles will be used by both the energy company and a number of evaluation drivers based in Hillingdon, Middlesex from mid-2010. This new BEV demonstration fleet is being created partly with public funding from the UK Government's Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which promotes innovative industry-led projects that reduce CO2. The research programme aims to test the technology's suitability for potential future application in Ford's European passenger car range.

The Focus BEV prototypes used for the UK programme are based on the current European Ford Focus and will use a new all-electric powertrain, provided by strategic supplier Magna. This technology is based on that being developed for Ford's next-generation global C-car architecture and which will be launched as the Focus Electric in North America in 2011.

Under the skin of the Ford Focus prototypes is a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack with the capacity of 23kWh and a chassis-mounted 100-kilowatt permanent-magnet electric traction motor. The BEV will have a range of up to120 km (75 miles) and a top speed of up to 136 km/h (85 mph). Charging the batteries will take between 6-8 hours using a standard 230 volt grid

Ford Focus BEV Prototype Technical Data

Battery Technology

Lithium Ion

Battery Capacity

23 kWh

Charging time

6-8 hours (230 V grid)

Electric motor

Permanent-magnet motor

Max Power

100 kW

Max Torque

320 Nm

Top speed

136 km/h (85 mph)


120 km (75 miles)

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