May 24, 2011
by Fleet Management staff
OAK PARK, MI: Azure Dynamics Corporation, a developer and producer of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles, has sold 27 Ford Transit Connect Electric vans, including five to FedEx Express, four to the City of Toronto, three to Michigan energy supplier DTE Energy and a 15-unit sales to various Ford commercial truck dealers.
“These new orders underscore several key drivers in the electric vehicle market expansion,” said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. “Some major vehicle fleets like Azure customers’ FedEx, AT&T, Canada Post, Post Norway, etc, are employing specific quantities of Transit Connect Electric vans to gain operational experience with the technology in advance of expected increased deployment. Energy producers like Azure customers’ DTE, SoCal Edison, NYPA, Xcel and others are using the vans to help them understand necessary energy production and distribution requirements related to the increasing national fleet of EV vehicles. Last, our Ford dealership partners are eager to meet interest from their customers who are seeking the operational benefits that the Transit Connect Electric promises.”
At FedEx Express, the five vans will help FedEx decrease its environmental impact in day-to-day operations, said Azure. As well, DTE Energy is expanding its use of alternatively-fueled vehicles in its fleets, the company said, and the three vans are among the first pure EV vehicles the company will employ.
The City of Toronto, another returning Azure Dynamics customer, ordered four Transit Connect Electric vans through Eastcourt Ford Lincoln in Toronto. FedEx Express and the City of Toronto had previously acquired Azure’s Balance Hybrid Electric drivetrain. An additional 15 Transit Connect Electric vans were sold to a variety of Ford commercial truck dealers.
The Ford Transit Connect Electric uses a lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls to achieve a range of 50 to 80 miles depending on auxiliary usage and drive cycle and is rechargeable using either a 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlet. Commercial vans generally return to a central location at the end of each driving cycle making for easy overnight recharging. Use of the vehicles will also reduce fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.