DTE Energy has added four Transit Connect Electrics from Oak Park's Azure Dynamics to the company's fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles. The Transit Connect Electrics will be used by DetroitEdison field crews performing repair and maintenance and operations to electrical lines and otherequipment on the electric distribution system, according to president and chief operating officer Steven Kurmas,
“The addition of these all-electric Transit Connects to our fleet will help Detroit Edison advance theuse of electric vehicles in a couple of ways,” said Kurmas. “First, we will learn firsthand how thesevehicles 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 byconsumers and businesses will impact the electrical system and what utilities need to do to supportadoption of these vehicles.”
The Ford Transit Connect Electric, a pure electric-powered version of the award-winning TransitConnect small van, is fitted with a Force Drive battery electric powertrain made by Azure Dynamicsfeaturing 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 berechargeable using either 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlets.
The vehicles were purchased from Suburban Ford of Sterling Heights, Mich., one of the first TransitConnect Electric-selling dealerships, and the first Ford dealership to offer a full line of gas, hybridand electric vehicles. By Joseph Szczesny