Ford Motor Company, after dong the smart thing last week and jumping on the regenerative braking issue facing its Fusion Hybrid, pulled back the proverbial curtain today on the pure electric-powered 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric. Debuted at the Chicago Auto Show, the zero-emissions vehicle will enter production late this year.
According to Ford the Transit Connect Electric, which has a top speed of 75 mph and a maximum range of around 80 miles, is targeted at drivers who frequent “predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and a central location for daily recharging.” Employing an on-board liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery pack, the Ford Transit Connect is easily charged by connecting its charge port — located above the passenger-side rear wheel wall — to a power outlet. Customers will be able to choose how they wish to charge their vehicle: via a standard 120V outlet, or a 240V charge station installed at the owner’s base of operations.
Ford plans to follow the Transit Connect Electric with three more electric vehicles over the next three years: the Focus Electric in 2011, a hybrid plug-in vehicle in 2012, and a “next generation hybrid” in 2012. Also slated to enter production later this year is the 2011 Ford Transit Connect Taxi, whose engine prep package will offer conversion to clean-burning compressed propane or natural gas.