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Ford electrifies the station wagon

The automaker adapts its all-electric Transit Connect vans to deliver a station wagon version for consumers.

Ford is now offering a consumer version of its Transit Connect Electric van, featuring a bench seat for the second row to allow seating for up to five people. Ford Motor

Ford is partnering with Azure Dynamics on a five-seater station wagon version of its Transit Connect all-electric vans.

Both companies announced the project Wednesday in time for the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The Ford Transit Connect Electric Wagon will be available in North America immediately, with plans to eventually sell it in Europe as well.

The Transit Connect vans, which went into production in 2010, are already in the fleets of AT&T, DHL, FedEx, and Post Norway, to name a few. The vehicle won the 2010 North American Truck of the Year award, to the surprise of many who'd grown accustomed to the spot often being snagged by a version of Ford's perennial favorite, the F-Series pickup.

The consumer station wagon version of the Transit Connect will have the same Force Drive electric power train developed by Azure and already used in the Transit Connect vans, and will offer a top speed of 75 mph. It will sport a lithium ion battery made by Johnson Controls, and will have a range of between 55 and 80 miles on a single charge, depending on use.

Like most electric vehicles on the road today, its battery will be able to recharge from either a standard 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt charging station.

The wagon is expected to have a sticker price of between $23,000 and $24,000.