2010 Transit Connect

The 2010 Transit Connect for the North American market.

(Credit: Ford Motor Company)

If an electric passenger car is good, an electric people mover is even better. Ford Motor Company on Monday announced plans to bring an all-electric version of the 2010 Transit Connect to the North American market in addition to its 2.0 liter gasoline-powered model.

Based on the global Transit Connect platform, the light commercial vehicle will be built in Turkey and imported to the U.S. It will be outfitted by Smith Electric Vehicles.

Details on the vehicles are few. Ford has not announced the type of battery or its supplier. But if Smith Electric Vehicles’ Ampere is similar to what the North American market will receive, the Transit Connect is powered by two 24 kWh lithium ion batteries, giving it a top speed of 70 mph and a range of up to 100 miles. Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Moore said the Ampere was the EU version of the Transit Connect and reiterated that Ford has not announced a battery type or supplier. However, she said the North American version of the all-electric Transit Connect will have a targeted range of approximately 100 miles.

The Transit Connect is a smaller alternative to a full-size cargo van and can be outfitted for package delivery or for passenger use. Sales volumes will initially be small, said Moore. However, Ford is exploring fleet sales to commercial industries and government groups. Moore explained that the best application of these vehicles is for companies that have set routes and return to a central location for recharging overnight.

Ford has not announced pricing on the all-electric Transit Connect. The light commercial vehicle will be Ford’s first all-electric move into the North American market, preceding the small electric passenger sedan in 2011.