Iconic Transit Connect in electric makeover

Azure Dynamics will fit a battery-driven electric powertrain into Ford Transit Connect models for sale in Europe in preparation for a 2011 launch.

The Transit Connect vans will be produced in Turkey, the future home of the Ford Transit when a new version in released next year, and shipped to an Azure facility to add the electric powertrain.

Azure will also sell the vehicle, but will fall under the Ford warranty and include left- and right-hand drive versions.

The electric Ford Transit Connect will have an 80-mile range with zero exhaust emissions and will take between six and eight hours to fully recharge using 220/240-volt outlets.

John Fleming, chairman and CEO of Ford Europe, said: "Adding a practical, full battery-electric, zero-emission alternative to the range further demonstrates the enormous flexibility of this vehicle and gives customers the option of being among the first to adopt this environmentally friendly technology"

The electric Ford Transit Connect will be the manufacturer’s first foray into the electric van market, where it will compete with the Peugeot eBipper and forthcoming Renault Kangoo Van Z.E.

Ford also plans to build a battery-powered Ford Focus for 2011 and a hybrid C-Max set for production in 2013 as it continues to expand its electric and hybrid ranges.