First Test: 2010 Ford Transit Connect Electric

Don Sherman

It also answers the call with more than expected urge. The TC Electric slips into the flow of traffic and defends its honor without hesitating. It's got enough oomph under the hood to make its moves without apology.

We conducted a few acceleration measurements with VBox test gear to assess the TC Electric's performance. The best of three runs resulted in a zero-to-sixty time of 11.7 seconds. If that doesn't impress you, consider the fact that the gas-powered TC we tested last year beat this electric by only 0.6-seconds. That gap would be narrower if we had relieved the battery-powered edition of its parts shelves payload.

The gas model easily beats the electric on top speed with 90 mph available on a long run versus the electric's governed limit at 75 mph. Sustained high speeds rapidly deplete any electric car's battery so they are naturally discouraged.

A stop at the scales revealed that the TC conversion weighs 4500 pounds (including the parts racks and bins) versus 3420 pounds for the gas version. Illustrating the heft of batteries, 54-percent of the total mass is carried by the rear wheels. Since there are no notable upgrades to the TC's brakes or tires, braking distances are longer. We measured a 70-0 mph stop in 200 feet for the electric conversion versus 164 feet for the standard TC. The disc-drum ABS brake system performed normally.

While we conducted no specific handling tests, the TC Electric's low center of gravity results in minimal rock and roll during aggressive maneuvers. It feels quite stable, nicely planted, and predictable in its moves. It should have no difficulty handling a full rated load of 1000 pounds.

To accurately measure driving range, we started this review with a fully charged battery and a bit over 80 miles showing on the available range dial. We then maintained a log of our movements. During several hours of driving, we took photos, measured performance, and cruised suburban streets at moderate speeds. We also held 70 mph for 21 miles on a local interstate highway.

After 47 miles of driving -- including three flat-out runs from rest to 75 mph -- a turtle warning lamp lit up in the range dial. At that point, about five miles of operating range remained so we headed back to this journey's starting point. We arrived at that destination with 50.1 miles logged and about three miles of range remaining.

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