Azure Dynamics Corporation announced this week that it has entered into an agreement to sell its portfolio of patents and related rights and assets to a third party, which would seem to end speculation that the company might emerge from bankruptcy.
Canada-based Azure, in partnership with Ford, developed an electric version of the popular Transit Connect light delivery van. The commercial EV, which uses Azure’s Force Drive electric drive train and a 28 kWh Johnson Controls lithium-ion battery pack, went into production in December 2010. It has an EPA-certified range of 56 miles, a top speed of 75 mph and combined fuel economy of 62 MPGe.
The Transit Connect Electric was selling pretty well to fleet operators – Azure racked up $29 million in sales in the first 12 months of production. Alas, it seems the numbers never came into line – the company lost tens of millions in 2011, and entered bankruptcy in March. The light delivery van market is a perfect niche for EVs – Smith Electric Vehicles is one company that’s doing well in the segment – so it’s to be hoped that whoever is buying Azure’s technology will be successful at bringing an EV into production.