Recent news shows New York City is buying ten Ford Transit Connect electric vans as part of an initiative to show off a “greener city.” The deal is getting down with the collaboration of Azure Dynamics, a Canadian leader in hybrid and all-electric technology and design.
The Transit Connect is an example of new moves by Ford to break out of the box that it operated in before 2008, before the financial crisis hit domestic auto makers hard, and before the market understood the current tidal wave of customers flocking to hybrids, fuel-efficient engines and other ways to save at the pump. Even plug-ins are now part of the market, albeit a small one, and Ford is getting with the program in a big way. Recent NPR broadcasts reveal how the Ford company is preparing to bulk up outreach to Chinese customers with small, fuel-efficient cars, but even in the U.S. market, going green, or at least cutting down mpg, is the name of the game. As for the van, the Transit Connect is a strange-looking vehicle to a lot of Americans, but it’s clear at a glance that this van provides an efficient use of space, one element of overall fuel-efficient design. Ford promotes the Transit Connect as Best in Class for fuel economy, and despite its Euro-style body, it’s getting attention from lots of contractors and other in the U.S. who need a van for work.
Another part of offering more fuel savings for larger vehicles is the switch from burly V8 engines back to leaner V6 models, something that Ford and other domestic auto makers are pursuing after evidence at dealer’s lots showed customers selecting the small blocks. Overall, the last few years have seen a lot of changes at Ford, and as the company continues to promote its vehicles through “normal” PR campaigns like its high-profile sponsorship of American Idol and other cultural venues, promotions like this month’s eco-deal with NYC are concrete evidence of forward thinking by a historic car company that’s determined to remain a top seller and an American legend. Meanwhile, customers are left to decide just how much fuel economy they need, choosing from small-body and small-engine cars, hybrids, or other designs. To get the best deals on these lean, green cars, do your homework before visiting the lot, getting good model pricing information, incentives news, and car financing strategies, to optimize your purchase of a car for the future.