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Excel Energy Receives First Ford Transit Connect Electric Van

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On: Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 8:55AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Excel Energy Receives First Ford Transit Connect Electric Van

Xcel Energy is the first company to receive the electric-powered Ford Transit Connect Van for commercial use. Azure Dynamics Corp., a hybrid electric power train innovator for commercial trucks, chose Xcel Energy as a lead customer program to receive 13 electric Ford Transit Connect vans.

The first electric van is scheduled to be delivered to Xcel Energy this year, with the remaining 12 EVs to be complete by 2011. The Ford Transit Connect Electric vehicle is a joint project between Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics Corp. with a common goal to create electric vehicles for the commercial sector.

Xcel, a major U.S. electricity and gas company, will not only add 13 electric vans to its fleet, the utility company also plans to put up $20,000 in grants to support the purchase of 11 additional Ford Transit Connect Electric vans for its project partners. These partners will agree to invest the remaining cost to take delivery of each van.

"We are excited to be part of this innovative initiative that will help encourage the market for electric vehicles and supports our company's environmental leadership strategy," said Dick Kelly, Xcel Energy chairman and CEO. "The Ford Transit Connect Electric is a significant technological achievement in electric transportation, and we want our company and key partners to be among the first to experience this new technology and to help promote it within the communities we serve."

Azure Dynamics uses ForceDriveTM electric drive train as the power source for the Ford Transit Connect, which is built on the award-winning 2010 global commercial van platform. The Ford Transit Connect Electric is powered by an advanced lithium-ion battery designed to reach a top range of up to 80 miles on a single charge, and is rechargeable using either a 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlet. Electric vehicle use will reduce fuel and maintenance costs, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Ford Transit Connect Electric is the first of five electrified vehicles we will launch over the next three years," said Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification. "Through our partnership with Azure Dynamics, the Ford Transit Connect Electric will allow businesses like Xcel Energy to operate more environmentally-friendly while reducing its need for gasoline."

Commercial van users are perfect candidates for implementation of electric vehicles due to having specific short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving and high idle time, which will allow for maximum use of the Ford Transit Connect vans.


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