All-electric vehicles are gaining traction in the enterprise market as auto manufacturers delve deeper into into the EVs, signaling an electric future for fleet managers that’s not so far off.

U.S. Ford and Azure Dynamics, a company that specializes in hybrid and electric powertrains for shuttle busses and trucks, recently shipped the first of their jointly produced Ford Transit Connect Electric vans to a select list of customers, including AT&T, Southern California & Edison, Xcel Energy and New York Power Authority. The Transit Connect Electric, with a projected range of 80 miles per charge and a top speed of 75 miles per hour, can be charged either using a standard 120V outlet or a 240V charge station, providing a full-cycle charge after six to eight hours. The Transit Connect Electric is scheduled to enter full production later this year and costs about $57,000 (less after state and federal tax incentives), according Ron Iacobelli, Azure’s chief technology officer.

A few more specs of the Transit Connect, courtesy of Sean Kilcarr at FleetOwner:

  • 135 cubic feet of cargo room
  • Load height of 59.1 inches
  • Load length of 72.6 inches

As Sean Kilcarr wrote earlier this month, 2011 will likely be a make-or-break year for electric vehicles in America, with commercial, all-electrics vans and trucks acting as the bellwether. Concerns about “range anxiety,” charge time, cost and the electrical grid’s ability to support the fleets remain open questions. Florida Power & Light, Southern California Edison and Xcel Energy have started planning infrastructure upgrades to accommodate electric fleets’ strain on the grid.