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Europe: Norwegian Post Becomes First Customer For Ford Transit Connect Electric

Ford (NYSE:F) and Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX:AZD) have confirmed their first European customer for the zero-emission Ford Transit Connect Electric van. Norwegian Post today signed a contract to purchase 20 Transit Connect Electric vehicles, with an option to order more vehicles in the future. Norwegian Post is the largest provider of mail and logistics services and the biggest employer in Norway.

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“The Norwegian Post will be an environmental leader in the mail and logistics industry by taking advantage of the latest technology available,” said Dag Mejdell, CEO, Norwegian Post. “In signing a contract for delivery of the new Ford Transit Connect Electric, the Norwegian Post is taking an important step towards its goal of reducing 150.000 tonnes of CO2 annually.”

Ford and Azure are introducing the Transit Connect Electric in summer 2011, as increasing numbers of fleet operators are demanding the benefits of efficient, clean alternative power for their vehicles.

With 28 kWh of power to call on, Transit Connect Electric has a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) and a range of up to 130 km (80 miles) on a full charge.

“Transit Connect Electric was designed and engineered with customers like Norwegian Post in mind,” said Scott Harrison, Azure CEO. “The ForceDriveTM powertrain excels under the types of urban driving conditions that the Transit Connect Electric is likely to encounter during postal delivery routes. We’re honoured to have Norwegian Post as our inaugural customer in Europe and are eager to help them achieve the environmental, operational and performance goals that they seek.”

Ford’s Global Electric vehicle plan

The Ford Transit Connect Electric – Ford’s first all-electric vehicle in Europe – is the first of five electrified vehicles that Ford plans to launch in Europe by 2013. Next comes the Ford Focus Electric in 2012, followed by the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, as well as another hybrid electric model in 2013. “By providing a variety of electrified vehicles, we are making it easier for our customers to embrace this fuel-saving technology,” said Thormod Skofsrud, managing director, Ford Norway. “This strategy is true to our heritage of making innovative technology available to as many people as possible and to our vision of developing great products.”

Practical and affordable

Transit Connect Electric will offer European operators the opportunity to eliminate petrol bills in their small vans and help to lower overall maintenance and running costs.

Ford’s Transit Connect commercial platform is an ideal choice for battery electric power thanks to its unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, generous cargo capacity, easy accessibility and low operation costs.

With a cargo volume 3.8 m3 and a payload of 500 kg, Transit Connect Electric will particularly appeal to operators who travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop and go driving. Transit Connect Electric can be recharged using standard European 220/240-volt outlets in approximately eight hours. Commercial van users generally return to a central location at the end of a driving cycle perfect for recharging over night.
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