subscribe to ENR magazine subscribe
contact us
advertise
careers industry jobs
events events
FAQ
Dodge Data & Analytics
ENR Logo
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
& receive immediate web access
comment

Ford Waves Green Flag, While Oshkosh Fights Global Terrorism at Midwest Exhibition

Text size: A A

Why go to the Chicago Auto Show? Because it could be renamed the Chicago Truck Show. You can find the latest concept cars and practical rides, but usually there is no shortage of construction trucks and other workhorses.

Ford’s all-electric work van in Chicago. It promises a top speed of 75 mph and 80-mi range in part due to its li-ion battery pack.
Photo: Tudor Van Hampton / ENR
Ford’s all-electric work van in Chicago. It promises a top speed of 75 mph and 80-mi range in part due to its li-ion battery pack (below).
Ford’s all-electric work van in Chicago. It promises a top speed of 75 mph and 80-mi range in part due to its li-ion battery pack
----- Advertising -----
Oshkosh’s M-ATV at the U.S. Army’s recruiting stand. The mine-resistant vehicle is set to replace the Humvee.
Photo: Tudor Van Hampton / ENR
Oshkosh’s M-ATV at the U.S. Army’s recruiting stand. The mine-resistant vehicle is set to replace the Humvee.

At this year’s show, held on Feb. 12-21, Ford Motor Co. waved the green flag by introducing its first all-new, all-electric vehicle—and it happens to be a work van. Based on Ford’s urban-delivery platform, the 2011 Transit Connect Electric is targeted at such small-business owners as architects, consulting engineers and subcontractors looking to burn zero fuel and score some serious brownie points among their more eco-conscious clientele.

Available in late 2010, the cheerful van promises a top speed of 75 mph and up to 80 miles on a single charge. It truly is a “world” vehicle: The basic glider will be built in Turkey, then it will head off to Michigan, where Detroit-based Azure Dynamics will install a liquid-cooled, Siemens AC motor, Azure power inverter and BorgWarner transaxle, replacing a 2.0L gasoline powertrain. Ford last year broke its partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles, choosing Azure as its supplier.

A 28-kWh bank of 192 lithium-ion cells, produced by a joint venture of Johnson Controls and France-based Saft Group, also will be fitted amidships, underneath the floorboards and between the frame rails. Ford points out that it gives up virtually no cargo space, at 135 cu ft. Carrying capacity has dropped more than 37%, to 1,000 lb, however, because of the new components’ added weight. Ford recommends using a 240-volt receptacle for charging, which takes 6-8 hours.

Ford still has some minor details to work out, such as pricing. While the batteries today are imported from France, Johnson Controls-Saft last year received a $299.2-million federal stimulus grant to build a domestic factory. Michigan is kicking in another $168.5 million in incentives. The plant, in Holland, Mich., is set to open in late 2010.

On the brawny side, local U.S. Army recruiters displayed the new M-ATV, an extreme off-road vehicle designed to tackle the tricky Afghanistan terrain. Built by Wisconsin-based defense contractor Oshkosh Corp. and powered by a 370-hp, 7.0L Caterpillar turbodiesel, M-ATV rides on a four-wheel, independent suspension with supersize springs that look like they might belong on a locomotive.

The angry-looking vehicle features armor plating; a V-shaped, MRAP mine-resistant hull; run-flat tires; onboard fire suppression and bulletproof glass. Costing taxpayers more than $400,000 apiece, the M-ATVs will be replacing the aging Humvee as the soldier’s workhorse of choice, say Army officials.

 

----- Advertising -----
  Blogs: ENR Staff   Blogs: Other Voices  
Critical Path: ENR's editors and bloggers deliver their insights, opinions, cool-headed analysis and hot-headed rantings
Project Leads/Pulse

Gives readers a glimpse of who is planning and constructing some of the largest projects throughout the U.S. Much information for pulse is derived from McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge.

For more information on a project in Pulse that has a DR#, or for general information on Dodge products and services, please visit our Website at www.dodge.construction.com.

Information is provided on construction projects in following stages in each issue of ENR: Planning, Contracts/Bids/Proposals and Bid/Proposal Dates.

View all Project Leads/Pulse »

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.