2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric.automotiveIT

The Ford Transit Electric is the first of five electric Ford vehicles to be launched globally

The Norwegian Post will be the first European customer of Ford's Transit Connect Electric delivery van.

The automaker said the government agency has ordered 20 vans, which will be delivered this year. The Post has an option to purchase more of the vehicles at a later date.

“In signing a contract for delivery of the new Ford Transit Connect Electric, the Norwegian Post is taking an important step towards its goal of reducing 150.000 tonnes of CO2 annually,” said Dag Mejdell, CEO of the Norwegian Post.

The Transit Connect Electric, which has a ForceDrive powertrain built by Azure Dynamics, has a top speed of 120 km and a maximum range of 130 km. The vehicle is the first of five

electric vehicles Ford plans to launch in Europe by 2013. Next comes the Ford Focus Electric in 2012, followed by the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, as well as another hybrid electric model in 2013.

The Transit Connect Electric can be recharged through a standard European 220/240-volt outlet in approximately eight hours.

The European vehicle will sport the Azure Force Drive logo next to Ford's Blue Oval.

The vans are built at the Ford Otosan factory in Turkey and are then shipped without engines to an Azure-contracted company for engine fitment.

They will then be sold by Azure through a specially-created dealer network.