OAK PARK, MI – Azure Dynamics Corp. and Ford Motor Co. have formed an agreement calling for Azure to integrate its proprietary plug-in hybrid technology into the Ford F-Series Super Duty product line.
Azure's plug-in hybrid technology will be initially integrated on Ford's F-Series Super Duty cab and chassis, the F-550, which is expected to be available in early 2013. The agreement also allows Azure to perform hybrid powertrain conversions on other Super Duty platforms, including F-350 and F-450 models, and spans all engine, frame length and regular production options and configurations. Azure said its Super Duty program will allow the company to further expand its product lineup in its targeted medium-duty commercial truck segment.
The Azure/Ford agreement includes a "ship-thru" provision that permits Azure to place vehicles in the Ford transportation system and allows qualified Ford Commercial Truck dealerships to sell and service the product in specific markets in North America.
Azure and Ford teamed up in 2009 to bring the Transit Connect Electric to market 13 months after the program was first announced. The new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) F-Series program further expands the Azure/Ford business relationship which, in addition to the Transit Connect Electric, also markets the E-450 Balance Hybrid Electric Step Van and Shuttle Bus.
Prior to the Transit Connect Electric development, Azure and Ford collaborated on the E-450 cutaway and strip chassis to create the Balance Hybrid Electric, a truck or shuttle. The companies said it achieves up to a 40-percent fuel improvement while reducing emissions and maintenance costs by up to 30 percent each. The Balance Hybrid Electric has 60-percent share in the medium-duty hybrid commercial truck market in North America and is deployed in fleets for companies such as AT&T, CINTAS, DHL, FedEx Express and Purolator.