The Oak Park hybrid and electric truck powertrain developer Azure Dynamics Corp. and Ford Motor Co. of Canada Ltd. Tuesday announced that the Toronto Atmospheric Fund’s FleetWise EV300 Initiative has been added to the LEAD customer program for the Ford Transit Connect Electric commercial van with a 12-unit order. 

As a LEAD customer, FleetWise EV300 will receive one of the exclusive Transit Connect Electric vehicles in late 2010 and will receive its remaining 11 vans in 2011. 

The FleetWise EV300 initiative aims to put at least 300 electric vehicles on the road in the Greater Toronto Area by 2012, helping to prepare the region for full-scale electric mobility. Participating in the EV300 initiative allows public and private fleets, local electricity distribution companies and municipal partners to access electric vehicles, secure servicing and technical support, establish charging infrastructure, better understand vehicle-grid integration, monitor performance, and advance EV-friendly policies.

“Azure is well aligned to the FleetWise goal of building on the existing national Electric Vehicle Technology Road Map for greater EV deployment in Toronto,” said Mike Elwood, Azure’s vice president of marketing.  “The Transit Connect Electric program will help showcase the true value of electric vehicles as part of a sustainable transportation system and will continue to lead Canada into the future of sustainable transportation technology.” 

The City of Toronto is committed to lowering emissions of greenhouse gases by 6 percent below 2009 levels by 2012, and lowering emissions of smog-causing pollutants by 20 percent below 2004 levels also by 2012.

The following organizations will participate in the Transit Connect Electric program: The City of Toronto; Ontario Ministry of Transportation; Veridian; The City of Hamilton; The Town of Richmond Hill; and the University of Toronto. Additional fleet partners will likely join in this initiative, all of whom may be able to take advantage of the $8,500 (Canadian) Ontario tax credit with the purchase of their Transit Connect Electric. 

“As a utility van that can haul packages, shovels and everything in between, the Transit Connect Electric is a great fit for our fleet partners,” said Ben Marans, FleetWise program director. “Being able to access these vehicles as they literally roll off the assembly line is a significant benefit for our partners and demonstrates the value of participating in a coordinated purchase program, such as FleetWise EV300.”

“The Ford Transit Connect is a versatile, adaptable and dependable vehicle for commercial customers,” said David Mondragon, president and CEO, Ford of Canada.  “By adding the Transit Connect Electric to their fleet, businesses are able to benefit from both the flexibility of the vehicle and the environmentally friendly technology.”

To create the Transit Connect Electric, Azure integrates its proven Force Drive electric powertrain into the award-winning Ford Transit Connect. Using an advanced lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls-Saft, Transit Connect Electric can achieve a range of up to 130 km (80 miles) on a single charge and has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). The battery is rechargeable using either a 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlet. 

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