Azure Dynamics agrees to sell its patents

 

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.

 

Image: Ford