Fitted with lithium-ion battery technology and a 90kW electric motor, the new arrival offers an average range of 80 miles between recharges. Top speed is limited to 50mph and it is to be a standard production model rather than a special conversion.

During the course of this year over 100 electric Vitos will be built and delivered to 20 fleet operators and public bodies with a need to transport items in environmentally sensitive zones. A further 2,000 look set to be produced thereafter. The EU meeting involved European ministers discussing the economic viability of future technologies.

Not to be outdone, Ford will be launching an electric Transit Connect in the USA later this year. Not to be confused with the one developed by Smith Electric Vehicles, it is likely to be marketed on this side of the Atlantic from 2011 onwards.


Smith is supplying ten of its electric Ford Transit-based Edisons to Ford of Europe. They’re wanted for a project to examine the potential environmental benefits of the use of electric commercial vehicles to the city of Cologne. Seven of the Edisons are vans, two are minibuses while the third is a chassis cab.

Germany hopes to have 1m zero-emission vehicles on its roads by 2020. The project will help forecast how electric LCVs could impact on this plan.