Ford Transit Connect EV to be Electrified By Azure Dynamics, Deal With Smith Electric Mutually Terminated

2010 Ford Transit Connect - media event in NYC, May 2009

2010 Ford Transit Connect - media event in NYC, May 2009

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Ford and Smith Electric Vehicles had planned to jointly produce a BEV version of the Ford Transit Connect for a scheduled release next year ahead of the companies Focus EV.  The partnership was such that Ford would provide the rolling chassis and Smith Electric would install the EV components.  Now, both companies mutually agreed to go separate ways.

Smith Electric Vehicles will instead focus their efforts on the Newton EV and larger variants of the Newton EV commercial vehicles.  Meanwhile, Ford has enlisted the help of Azure Dynamics to produce the Transit Connect EV.  Ford has ongoing relations with Azure Dynamics.  The company currently utilizes Ford's E450 chassis to produce hybrid shuttle buses.

According to the Tanfield Group, parent company of Smith Electric, the projected volume of the Transit Connect EV in the short and medium term did not justify their required investment and time.  Smith Electric's limited resources and small production facility partially swayed their decision as the company simply has no development and production facility large enough to house both the Newton EV and Transit EV.  With a 255 unit backlog on the Newton, Smith Electric is already falling behind.

There is no word at this time as to whether or not the Transit Connect EV will still go on sale at its previously scheduled time.  With a new partner in Azure Dynamics already selected, it's likely that Ford will be able to keep to its release schedule.

Source:  AutoBlogGreen

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Comments (4)
  1. Gee.... I wonder if there is a demand for electric vehicles? This company cannot even handle the demand for electric commercial trucks....

  2. I think demand for small vans like this will be big. Consider vans that do deliveries in big cities. They work during the day and charge in the evening, thus reducing costs for companies.

  3. Hmmm. Ford told the world to expect the Connie BEV in the middle of 2010. It looks like Smith have failed to get their US facility up and running fast enough and big enough to cope - and have perhaps been given the boot by Ford who don't like their schedule being threatened. As a fan of Smith (and as a shareholder in their UK outfit) I would like that not to be the reason for this 'mutual' termination. I sincerely hope that in now focussing on the Newton (in which they have usefully widened the size range to include smaller variants on the same Avia chassis), they are able to keep their customers happy with deliveries over the next few months. Competitors are coming into view now and might take business away from them if they don't get a move on.

  4. Mark - I agree. I expect Ford and their new drivetrain partner to find a ready market for the Connie BEV (and for the 7-8 seat Tourneo BEV variant) in certain cities worldwide.

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