Electric Ford Transit van conversion shown by Inventev at Detroit Auto Show


Inventev and New Eagle Ford Transit electric conversion

Inventev and New Eagle Ford Transit electric conversion

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When an automaker doesn't offer a vehicle for a specific market segment, sometimes the aftermarket will fill in the gap.

In the U.S., all-electric commercial vans are one of those gaps.

Such vehicles are available in other markets, but so far, not on sale from major makers in North America.

DON'T MISS: Renault adds new Master ZE larger electric delivery van

Nissan, for example, sells its e-NV200 in Japan and Europe but in not the U.S., despite the fact that it sells the gasoline-powered NV200 here (and Chevrolet sells the same vehicle as the City Express as well).

At the recent 2017 Detroit Auto Show, a pair of aftermarket companies announced a possible offering for companies wanting an electric delivery van.

It's an all-electric conversion of the Ford Transit full-size van, marketed by Inventev and New Eagle.

2017 Ford Transit Wagon

2017 Ford Transit Wagon

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Under the arrangement announced by the two companies in Detroit, Inventev will perform the conversions and serve as distributor, while New Eagle will supply electric-powertrain components.

While a Transit was used as the initial "proof-of-concept" test vehicle, the partners said they haven't yet chosen a model to base the final production version on.

Several automakers "offer products that are well suited for the up-fit," according to a joint Inventev and New Eagle press release.

MORE: VW e-Crafter, Mercedes Urban e-truck concept: electric vans for Europe (Sep 2016)

New Eagle currently advertises a Ford Transit electric conversion kit on its website, including a 135-kilowatt (175-horsepower) motor, and options for battery packs ranging from 25 kilowatt-hours to 75 kWh.

Converted vans have a range of 25 to 125 miles per charge, depending on battery-pack size, the company says.

The two companies hope to have a production electric-van conversion ready by the 2018 model year, and will focus on commercial-fleet sales.

2017 Ford Transit Wagon

2017 Ford Transit Wagon

Enlarge Photo

Ford itself is also working on electrified vans, as part of a recently-announced effort to launch 13 new hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric models over the next five years.

In another corner of Detroit's Cobo Center, the automaker displayed a prototype Transit Connect Hybrid taxi during the auto show.

Ford will also begin testing Transit Custom plug-in hybrid vans in London this year, ahead of a planned 2019 launch.

However, neither of these vans are all electric, and both are based on smaller models that just happen to share a name with the full-size Transit.

For more Detroit coverage, head over to our auto show news page.

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