AT&T becomes principal customer for Ford electric vehicles

AT&T has agreed to purchase two of the first Ford Transit Connect electric vans.


Adding to its growing fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles, AT&T has agreed to purchase two of the first Ford Transit Connect Electric vans.

The Ford Transit Connect Electric -- the all-electric version of the 2010 Ford Transit Connect -- will be powered by Azure Dynamics' Force Drive electric drivetrain with an advanced lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls-Saft. The vehicle, which goes on sale later this year, has a range ofup to 80 miles on a single charge and will be rechargeable using either240-volt or standard 120-volt outlets. It has a top speed of 75 miles per hour.

"It's exactly the kind of vehicle weenvisioned when we mapped our long-term vision to invest up to $565 million to  deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles through 2018," said Jerome Webber, vice president of fleet operations at AT&T.

The Transit Connect Electric is expected to offer lower cost of operation because recharging with electricity is generally less expensive than refueling with gasoline. Additionally, customers will benefit from lower maintenance costs as the electric drive train has far fewer moving parts to maintain.

"Ford Transit Connect was first introduced in the U.S.last year as a new fuel efficient alternative to larger commercial vehicles. Adding the electric option addresses a growing demand from our customers forsustainable vehicles for their fleets," said Gerry Koss, Ford fleet marketing manager. "This Transit Connect Electric represents the first ina family of electrified vehicles, including new hybrids, plug-in hybrids andall battery electric vehicles, which Ford will deliver over the next three years."

AT&T plans to take delivery of the Transit Connect Electric in late 2010.

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-Edited by DavidGreenfield , editorial director
Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering
News Desk

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