Transit Connect Electric by Ford has won over DTE Energy, who know a few things about electricity and headquartered in Detroit. The DTE recently added four of the electric vehicles (EVs) in its ongoing efforts to increase their use of alternative-fuel sources its fleet. The durable and rugged Electrics will be put to the test out in the field by Detroit Edison’s repair and maintenance crews. The crews can drive up to 80 miles on all-electric (no-emmissions) on a single charge.
DTE President and CEO wants to use the Transit Connects to test the performance of these vehicles in day-to-day use. They will determine how to best use their unique characteristics and how the electric vehicles for personal and business use impacts the electrical system. They also would like to see what the utilities need to do to support the vehicles wide-spread use.
This is the first of Ford’s electrified vehicles to reach the market, but it won’t be the last. The company plans to launch four more during 2012:
- the Focus Electric – an EV version of the popular Focus compact
- the C-MAX Hybrid – a new high-efficiency multi-activity vehicle
- the C-MAX Energi – the plug-in hybrid version which will deliver an extended electric driving range
- and a new next-gen Ford hybrid that is currently being kept under wraps
The purchase of the DTE fleet was made at Suburban Ford in Sterling Heights, Mich., which recently became the world’s first Ford dealership to sell a full line of gas, hybrid and electric vehicles. This dealership may have been the first, but won’t be the last.
This past Spring, the Seattle Green Festival at Qwest Event Center, showcased the Transit Connect Electric and to local companies as an all-electric commercial van designed for local florists and other businesses that make quick deliveries in a region and help transform commercial fleets with pre-defined routes and the ability for daily charging.
Ford also slated Seattle as one of 11 U.S. cities to receive the first Focus Electric this year.