Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

The DTE Energy headquarters in downtown Detroit, MI are now home to two of the four Ford Transit Connect Electric vans owned by the Michigan-based utility company. DTE Energy says the addition of the electric Transit Connect is but one step in its effort to expand the use of alternative-fuel vehicles. The quartet of Transit Connect Electrics will be used by DTE field crews performing repair and maintenance on electric distribution systems.

DTE president Steven Kurmas says the electric vans will:
... help Detroit Edison advance the use of electric vehicles in a couple of ways. First, we will learn firsthand how these vehicles perform in day-to-day field operations... Second, they will help us learn more about how the use of electric vehicles by consumers and businesses will impact the electrical system and what utilities need to do to support adoption of these vehicles.
The Ford Transit Connect Electric features a Force Drive powertrain made by Azure Dynamics and a lithium-ion battery pack provided by Johnson Controls-Saft. The vans were purchased from Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights, MI, one of the first dealerships in the U.S. to sell the Transit Connect Electric.
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Ford Electrifies DTE Energy Field Service with Transit Connect Electric Vans

Detroit Edison President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Kurmas, presented today two Ford Transit Connect Electrics at DTE Energy headquarters in downtown Detroit
Four Transit Connect Electrics will be used by Detroit Edison in its field fleet as part of the company's efforts to expand its use of alternative-fuel vehicles
All-electric, zero-emission Transit Connect Electric features Azure Dynamics' Force Drive powertrain with a targeted range of up to 80 miles per full charge; it will be rechargeable using either 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlets
Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights, Mich., one of the first Transit Connect Electric dealerships, supplied the vehicles and is the first Ford dealership to offer a full line of gas, hybrid and electric vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 12, 2011 – Detroit Edison President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Kurmas, today presented two out of four recently-purchased Ford Transit Connect Electric vehicles at DTE Energy headquarters in downtown Detroit.

With the addition of these four Transit Connect Electrics, DTE Energy continues its effort to expand the company's use of alternative-fuel vehicles. The Transit Connect Electrics will be used by Detroit Edison field crews performing repair and maintenance and operations to electrical lines and other equipment on the electric distribution system.

"The addition of these all-electric Transit Connects to our fleet will help Detroit Edison advance the use of electric vehicles in a couple of ways," said Kurmas. "First, we will learn firsthand how these vehicles perform in day-to-day field operations and how we can make the best use of their unique characteristics. Second, they will help us learn more about how the use of electric vehicles by consumers and businesses will impact the electrical system and what utilities need to do to support adoption of these vehicles."

The Ford Transit Connect Electric, a pure electric-powered version of the award-winning Transit Connect small van, is fitted with a Force Drive battery electric powertrain made by Azure Dynamics featuring Johnson Controls-Saft's advanced lithium-ion battery technology. The all-electric, zero-emission vehicle has a target range of up to 50 to 80 miles per full charge, and will be rechargeable using either 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlets.

The vehicles were purchased from Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights, Mich., one of the first Transit Connect Electric-selling dealerships, and the first Ford dealership to offer a full line of gas, hybrid and electric vehicles.

Transit Connect Electric is the first product in Ford's accelerated electrified vehicle plan, and will be followed by the Focus Electric, the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in 2012 and another next-generation hybrid vehicle later in 2012.

The power of choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford's overall product sustainability strategy, which includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and in Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and will launch the all-new Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This diverse range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.

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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

About Detroit Edison
Detroit Edison is an investor-owned electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com.

About Azure Dynamics
Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC: AZDDF) is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. Azure is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus markets and is currently working internationally with a variety of partners and customers. The Company is committed to providing customers and partners with innovative, cost-efficient, and environmentally-friendly energy management solutions. For more information on how Azure Dynamics products are Driving a World of Difference, please visit www.azuredynamics.com.