The purely electric van was tested by the residents of eco-friendly community Unity Gardens in Lincolnshire, who grow their own crops, keep over 150,000 bees and 20 chickens, and generate their own energy from each home in the community.
This energy, which is more than the community takes out of the National Grid, was used to charge the new Ford Transit Connect Electric for trips on the school run and other errands.
Residents revealed over 5,000 miles, the car would cost less than £50 to charge overall, saving the community huge amounts compared to diesel versions of the small panel van.
Unity Gardens was created by award-winning eco-architect Dr Jerry Harrall, who said: “The electric vehicle is an obvious natural progression for Unity Gardens. The residents are generating more energy than they are using so it makes sense for them to take advantage of the excess to power an electric vehicle.”
The Ford Transit Connect Electric uses a 28kWh battery pack to power the car to a top speed of 75mph.
The van is ideal for city driving with a range of 80 miles and it can be fully charged within eight hours from a standard charger – or to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes with a fast charger.
The Ford Transit Connect Electric is capable of carry 500kg and has a load space of up to 3.8 metres cubed, although this is reduced in five-seat minibus versions of the electric van.
Ford will launch the new Transit Connect Electric in the UK in 2013, a year after the Renault Kangoo Van Z.E. is launched in the UK.