What is it? This all-electric version of Ford's new small panel van will be the first small electric vehicle on the market for delivery services and contractors. A 24-kwh battery pack, which sits under the rear floor, gives the TransitConnect a range of 80 miles, even with a 1,000-lb payload. A 40-kw electric motor drives the front wheels through a single-speed gearbox.
What's new or notable? Unlike other EVs and hybrids, the TransitConnect BEV does not have regenerative brakes to help recharge the battery pack during braking. Instead, it regenerates only when the driver lifts off the accelerator and the vehicle slows down, which causes the transmission to change programming.
CR's take: Like most electric vehicles, the TransitConnect is smooth, quiet, and torquey to drive. Regen is very mild in the standard Drive mode.
When will it be available? Later in 2010.