Remember Ford’s promise to develop an electric-powered version of its Transit Connect? We managed to find one at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
If you want to parse words, this technically isn’t a Transit Connect. It’s a Tourneo Connect, which essentially adds a pair of rear seats and interior trim panels aft of the B-pillars to create a passenger minivan.
This also helps to explain why the mocha-colored van you see here is labelled as a ‘concept.’ Although Ford’s partnered with Smith Electric ( a British specialist in EV conversions) to create a Transit Connect EV in the past, they never worked on a consumer-oriented vehicle until now.
As there’s very little difference between the Transit and Tourneo Connects, there’s not much that differs between this show van and the production-ready Transit Connect EV. Both use a 50 kW (67 hp) electric motor to power the front wheels, which is fed by a 21 kWh lithium-ion phosphate batter pack mounted underneath the vehicle. Ford claims the package can haul up to 1700 lbs, attain a top speed of 70 mph, and travel up to 100 miles on a single charge.
We can likely expect a very similar package when Transit Connect BEV’s arrive in North America in the second half of 2010. At the 2009 Chicago auto show, Ford revealed electric Transit Connects destined for U.S. consumption will use Smith’s EV-drive technology, not the Magna-designed system previously shown in a Focus.