The long awaited Ford Transit Connect Electric is making waves as it begins hitting North American markets. Already, New York City cabbies are considering adoption and the Canada Post has added a few of these electric vans to their fleet.

Metro Edmonton reporter Jil McIntosh took one of these compact and environmentally friendly little vans for a spin on a closed course at Toronto’s Exhibition Place and concluded that “the truck has more than enough pep to handle daily traffic.” The test drive also laid waste to any preconceived notions that battery-powered vehicles are glorified golf carts.

In partnership with Azure Dynamics, a company that’s been designing and developing electric drive systems for more than 20 years, Ford has committed to delivering entirely electric commercial vehicles around the world. Paving the way for electric vehicles for mass consumption, such as the electric Ford Focus, the Transit Connect will make it easier for business owners to begin making the break with the gas guzzling utility vans that make up many fleets.

“It could well be that the road for electric cars will first be paved by the electric truck,” McIntosh writes.

Starting at around $63,00, the electric version of the Transit Connect is more than double the cost of its gas-powered counterpart. But the cost of gasoline’s not exactly on the decline either. Powered by a high-voltage lithium ion batter pack that takes anywhere from six to 12 hours to fully charge – depending on the voltage of the charger – the van is ideal for businesses that require the vehicles in their fleets to be returned for the night so they can charge up.

Read more about electric vans on The SmartVan

ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.