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Two Transit Connect Electric Vans entering service at DTE

Detroit Edison (DTE) President and Chief Operating Officer, Steven Kurmas, presented two out of four recently-purchased Ford Transit Connect Electric vehicles (earlier post) at DTE Energy headquarters in downtown Detroit.

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. “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.

—Steven Kurmas

The Ford Transit Connect Electric, a pure battery electric-powered version of the 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 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.



If the crews are doing maintenance on live lines, there's the possibility of opportunity charging from convenient pole pigs during the work day. That would reduce issues of range and also battery discharge depth.

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