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Smith Electric Ford Transit Van

Of all the electric vehicles I saw, drove, or rode in earlier this month at the Electric Drive Transportation Association’s (EDTA) 2008 conference in Washington DC, none can have as immediate and important an impact as Smith Electric’s “Edison” … this electrified Ford Transit van has the potential to revolutionize local delivery for a wide range of firms, both small and large. The Ford Transit goes toe-to-toe with the venerable Sprinter for sheer versatility, offering a remarkable amount of cargo and head room.



The Smith Electric Edison conversion unit at the EDTA show packed 44kW of Lithium Ion Phosphate battery packs, slung beneath the floorboards. With an estimated 100 miles of range at 50 miles per hour, and an eight-hour recharge time, the Edison should hit a sweet spot with a range of contractors, delivery services, and transport companies.

While virtually unknown in America, Smith Electric Vehicles has been around for more than 80 years and is billed as “the world’s largest manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles.” At the time of the conference, Smith was in the process of researching locations for a new factory in the United States.

Smith Electric produces a trio of Edison models, based on the Transit. In addition to the panel van, an Edison Chassis Cab and 15-passenger Minibus round out the range. The UK-based company also markets an electrified version of the smaller Transit Connect as the “Ampere,” and the “Newton,” a larger traditional box truck. Smith offers an innovative battery leasing plan in the UK to help offset the significant cost of the high-end Lithium Ion Phosphate battery packs.

With Ford planning to bring an electric van to America in 2010, it stands to reason that the conversion work will be handled by Smith, although it’s not a given. It’s also unclear whether the smaller Transit Connect Van or larger Transit Van will be the first model to begin the electrification of the US fleet.

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2 comments ↓

#1 Electric Vehicles on 12.22.08 at 1:20 pm

There are plenty of people whose daily commute/travel range falls within the 100 mile range of this EV – my father was a contractor and would travel about 60 miles per day in his van to and from work. A vehicle like this would have been ideal for him.

#2 alexandre cesar santos de freitas on 12.22.08 at 2:07 pm

a dorei, tomara que eu possa comprar uma dessa, no futuro, numca tive um carro na minha vida, sou pintor
fica muito deficio comprar, mais eu vibrei amo anatureza e tudo que é bom para nós e para o mundo.
parabens ford, tenha calma que essa crise vai passar
sou BRASILEIRO, e qui tem bastante rodovia para esse tipo de tecnologia, amem

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