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At $9,999, Will This Electric 2011 Ford Transit Connect Make A Connection?

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Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Transit Connect electric is touted by its seller as a “piece of automotive history.” Let’s see if its price sets some sort of historical record.

The 2014 BMW 328d wagon we looked at yesterday featured BMW’s brand of AWD, which the company oddly calls xDrive, as standard. However, X didn’t mark the spot for our car. That was because its $15,900 asking price was deemed too high, earning the diesel Bimmer a narrow but decisive 56 percent No Dice loss.

Several of you made the case in the comments yesterday that a hybrid would be a better choice than a dirty diesel when it comes to frugal driving. That’s probably an accurate assessment, but if we’re making such considerations, why not go fully electric?

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Fully electric driving is just what this 2011 Ford Transit Connect offers. And with a reported range of 56 miles on a charge, it has the added benefit of protection against getting lost far away from familiar environs.

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You might not have known that Ford offered an electric version of its small city van, and that’s not surprising. While fully sanctioned by the company, this is merely a blip on Ford’s timeline of electric projects.

The full name of this van is the “Azure Dynamics Transit Connect Electric,” and it is the result of a short-lived collaboration between the Ford Motor Company and a small Canadian maker of electric drive systems called Azure Dynamics.

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The deal inked between the two companies saw Ford sending the vans as drivetrain-less “gliders” from its factory in Kocaeli, Turkey to a third-party builder in Livonia, Michigan—AM General (yes, the Humvee maker)—where Azure Dynamics’ “Force Drive” electric drivetrain was installed, along with a battery pack and all the related drivetrain accessories. This all started in late 2010, and as such things often go, ended just two years later with Azure Dynamics filing for bankruptcy protection due to massive financial liabilities it had amassed.

Before that, however, the company actually managed to build about 500 of these electric vans. It’s a rare opportunity when one comes up for sale, so we’ll need to take a look at this one and see what such an odd bit of electric car history might be worth.

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The van itself doesn’t look all that special or even very different from the outside. Oh sure, there’s no telltale tailpipe, but do people actually look for a sexy exhaust on a Transit Connect? There are a smattering of badges on the flanks and rear doors, denoting this to be an electric. Aside from that, it’s a white-painted high-roof Transit Connect, just like all the others.