The UK is the first European market to get Ford Motor Co.'s new electric van, the Transit Connect Electric.
The van is based on Ford's Transit Connect commercial van and is the first product in Ford's global electrified vehicle plan.
Ford said on Dec. 7 that it had begun shipping the first Transit Connect Electrics to customers in North America.
In the UK, the van will be used in London by the utility company Scottish and Southern Energy as part of a government-backed program to test electric vehicle and infrastructure technology.
Ford said the van is ideal for fleet owners who have well-defined routes of predictable distances and a central location for daily recharging.
"Delivery fleet and utility vehicle operators have begun to show a preference for smaller, more efficient vehicles, which creates an ideal time for Transit Connect Electric to come to market," the automaker said in a statement.
The Transit Connect has been refitted with a battery electric powertrain by Detroit-based Azure Dynamics.
The vans are assembled by AM General, a contract vehicle assembler in Livonia, Michigan, and include a Johnson Controls-Saft lithium-ion battery pack.
Full production is slated to ramp up in April 2011 when the first Transit Connect Electric units will be available to customers in Europe.
The vans have a range of 80 miles (130km) on a full charge.
Ford's first mass-market all-electric vehicle, the Focus compact sedan, will launch in late 2011, followed by a plug-in hybrid electric model and two lithium-ion battery-powered hybrid vehicles in 2012. The Focus EV is set to debut in Europe in 2012.