Lotus to Fit ForceDrive into Electric Transit Connect

On Tuesday, American manufacturer Ford announced it had signed the first contract to deliver the electric Transit Connect in Europe with the Norwegian Post. Two days later, Azure, the company that provides the battery electric powertrain for the model, revealed that Lotus' Lightweight Structures would be responsible with fitting the powertrain, called ForceDrive, into the bodies of the vehicles.

Lotus will be supplied with empty shells of the Transit, products called gliders, which will be married to their electric powertrain at the company's Worcester facility in the UK. From there, the models will be shipped to the companies that have purchased them.

ForceDrive consists of a battery and an electric motor, which combined make up for the heart of probably the world's most spread commercial electric vehicle. With this powertrain on, the Connect is capable of a range of 130 km or 80 miles on a full charge and a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).

The Norwegian Post is only the first fleet operator in Europe of what Ford and Azure hope will be a wide palette of future customers on the Old Continent. In North America, the electric Transit Connect has been and will be deployed through the LEAD program.

"The European Union and individual governments and private businesses are all working to lead the adoption of electric transportation technology and have shown strong interest in the Transit Connect Electric van,"
said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO.

"With Lotus Lightweight Structures, the project gets another globally renowned automotive company to ensure that final assembly is completed to the exacting standards of our customers."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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