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Ford's Electrifying Future and Taxi Hopes-Detroit Auto Show

Posted by: David Kiley on January 12, 2009


Within the next three years, Ford said this week at the North American International Auto Show, the automaker is planning to release two electric-vehicle projects, along with its next generation of hybrid vehicles..
The first project involves a tie-up with Tanfield, a British electric automaker, to produce battery-electric versions of the Ford Transit and Transit Connect. These are commercial vehicles sold in Europe that Ford is lanching this year in the U.S. The second is a small battery-electric passenger car made in conjunction with Magna International. The car, which is scheduled for production in 2011, will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and have a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge, Ford said.
Adter taking a backseat to both Toyota and GM (and it’s Volt car due in 2010), Ford has been catching up on “electrifying” headlines after announcing that its 2010 Fusion Hybrid, on sale in April, gets 41 mpg in city driving, six mpg better than the Toyota Camry Hybrid and 15 mpg better than Chevy Malibu Hybrid.
Ford has high hopes for the Transit Connect as a taxi cab to perhaps displace the Ford Crown Victoria, whose future is thought to be limited as both a taxi and police car. The Transit taxi hopes had been dealt a setback when New York City Mayor Bloomberg tried to mandate that all taxis be hybrids. When a court knocked that down, it gave some Ford executives new hope of making the case for the Transit Connect, which gets better fuel economy than the Crown Vic. The Transit, larger and roomier than a Crown Vic would, in my opinion, make the best cab in the U.S. outside of a limo. With a hybrid in the offing, maybe Ford can satisfy taxi passengers, as well as Mayor Bloomberg.

Reader Comments

Bob Uppendown

January 12, 2009 9:28 AM

Smith Electric Vehicles (part of the Tanfield Group, who were named by Ford as a partner in Ford's yesterday's press conference) already produce a wholly-electric vehicle based on the Ford Transit Connect. The Smith Ampere.

It doesn't take much to imagine an electric taxi proving quite appealing in many cities.

robin mayes

January 12, 2009 2:36 PM

dear David

please check your facts. from everything i have read ford's ev van concept with tanfield is being rolled out in europe not US. their announcement on sunday at motorshow was very specific in not mentioning US. from what i understand from speaking to tanfield, ford have not finalised their ev van plans for US. please could you double check and get back to me


robin mayes

From Kiley: The electrified Transit will be coming to the U.S. I'm sure of this.

E omas

January 12, 2009 3:44 PM

This looks great Tanfield and Ford could sell these right now in the UK
as a Taxi, as i know taxi drivers
who would jump at the chance of buying these as i am one myself, beat the conjestion charge in london and save the
planet what more could you ask for .


January 12, 2009 9:29 PM

The Transit would be better if offered with a manual transmission like it is in Mexico.


January 13, 2009 11:12 AM

Ford can release as many electric cars as they want or any car company for that matter. The Botom line is Nobody can afford them.


January 13, 2009 11:14 AM

Ford can release as many electric cars as they want or any car company for that matter. The Botom line is Nobody can afford them.


January 13, 2009 12:38 PM

How would a taxi with a 100 mile range work? After just a few trips, the battery will be dead. You would need to have returned to the depot to recharge - which would take hours. You couldn't simply stop at the nearest electric charger for a top-off. The extra cost of the batteries, the limited range, and the charging downtime would not make for a practical car.

I think we have a very long way to go still before electric cars will be either technically or economically viable. And where will the electricity be coming from anyway - fossil fuels?

Mark Scott

January 13, 2009 4:12 PM

The vehicles are a set off for any business, along with both the UK and US goverments planning to provide huge tax reliefs, grants and funding in the sum of 800 million in the US. These vehicles could be very affordable very soon. Not to mention the costs that will be saved for replacing the popular diesel models.

E omas

January 16, 2009 2:37 PM

This could be a buisness in its self
for, tanfield they could start their own
Taxi company call it E-Cabs as they could undercut any Taxi company because of the very low running costs or even
lease them to existing Taxi owners
i know if i was the customer and had the choice between a
noisy diesal Taxi or a quiet electric
one the electric would win evry time.


July 2, 2009 3:00 PM

It's not about cars it's all about the drivers. For reliable service and resonable prices visit Heathrow to Gatwick Taxi site.

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