Ford Transit Connect Builds On Energy Company’s Sustainability Efforts
* DTE Energy, a company that provides natural gas and electric utility services to 3.4 million Michigan homes and businesses, recently purchased 19 Ford Transit Connects and is exploring additional ways to integrate the new compact van into its vehicle fleet
* The Ford Transit Connect is a greener vehicle choice than many of the vehicles currently in use by DTE Energy and it supports the company’s sustainability efforts
* The Ford Transit Connect – 2010 North American Truck of the Year – offers fleet customers a fresh choice with improved fuel economy and maneuverability to operate in crowded urban areas
DEARBORN, Mich. – DTE Energy, a company that provides natural gas and electric utility services to 3.4 million Michigan homes and businesses, recently purchased 19 Ford Transit Connects and is exploring ways to integrate the new compact van into its vehicle fleet.
“What interested our team in the Ford Transit Connect was the fuel economy,” said Gerard Huvaere, DTE Energy Fleet Operations. “It provides better fuel economy than many of the full-size pickup trucks and vans we have in our fleet.”
According to Huvaere, the initial 19 Transit Connects are being used internally to transport materials from warehouses to various locations, to deliver interoffice mail and to move electric meters throughout the system. Some also are being used by the company’s facilities maintenance personnel.
In addition to supporting the company’s sustainability efforts, the Transit Connects help reduce operating costs, says Huvaere.
“The Transit Connect allows us to save upfront capital costs, and the fuel savings is tremendous,” he said. “The trucks we replaced were older, and they were only getting 9 to 10 miles per gallon. We are achieving double that gas mileage with the Transit Connect.”
Powered by a 2.0-liter I-4 engine with a four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, the Transit Connect delivers an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
But fuel economy is not the only added benefit, says Huvaere.
“Many of the people who do our internal repairs take the vehicles home, so it’s actually safer to keep all of their tools and equipment locked up in the Transit Connect instead of exposed in the bed of a pickup truck,” he said.
According to Huvaere, DTE Energy personnel who have had an opportunity to drive the Transit Connect also like the extra headroom, the ability to access the vehicle from both the driver’s and passenger’s side, and the extra height in the cargo area. The front-wheel-drive Transit Connect also performs better in the Michigan snow, compared to the rear-wheel-drive pickup trucks.
Huvaere says DTE Energy is considering replacing some of the minivans currently being used by repair technicians who service homes and businesses with Transit Connects.
“The Transit Connect has more room, the same cargo capacity and costs less money to operate,” he said. “And our employees really like the way it drives and handles.”
Awards and accolades for the 2010 Ford Transit Connect:
* 2010 North American Truck of the Year
* 2010 Editors Choice for Vans by CAR and DRIVER magazine
* Detroit Free Press 2010 Truck of the Year
* The Detroit News 2010 Truck of the Year
* 2010 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Award for Best Workhorse Vehicle
* A Great Car for the Small Business Delivery/Utility Worker by Kelley Blue Book kbb.com.
* Heavy Duty Trucking’s Top 20 Product
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
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