Travelling from Oxford to London as part of the annual ‘Eco Rally’ – a showcase of electric, hybrid and other green cars – the Ford Transit Connect Electric vans completed the route comfortably.
The vans, which are identical to the standard Ford Transit Connect, will now go on sale in the UK from next year, making it the first ever mass-produced, all-electric vehicle to be sold in the UK by Ford.
Capable of carrying up to 500kg and offering a range of 80 miles, the Ford Transit Connect Electric vans are expected to be popular with city-based businesses because of the low running costs associated with using electricity instead of costly diesel.
The vans will compete against the Renault Kangoo Z.E. van, which is set to go on sale in the UK at the end of 2011. The all-electric van will boast a similar range to the Ford model, but is expected to undercut it in terms of price.
However, Ford plans to follow the Ford Transit Connect Electric with several electric and hybrid cans and vans in the next two years.
This will start with the introduction of full hybrid versions of the new Ford C-Max and a plug-in hybrid version – which differs because it is capable of travelling purely on electric power for short distances before the petrol engine kicks in.
Graham Hoare, executive director powertrain engineering, Ford of Europe, said: “Ford is developing a portfolio of electric vehicles that offer customers affordable, environmentally friendly technologies in vehicles they want and value."
An all-electric Focus, Ford’s best-selling small family car, will also follow, but a launch date for the model has not been announced so far.