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Transit van news - Ford hybrid transits taking US by storm

The Ford Transit Connect has been making transit van news this week, and for all the right reasons.

First, it emerged that the Transit Connect van had gained approval for use as a taxi in New York City – a fact which, if previous New York taxis are anything to go by, could see the Transit Connect soon leapfrog its way to global icon status.

All that remains now is for Ford to deal with the anticipated deluge of orders and the taxis should be on the roads in time for the American summer. "It's just a matter of shipping time. We're ready to take orders," said a Ford spokesperson.

And in the other piece of transit van news Ford made this week, its hybrid vehicle customers, which includes owners of the Transit Connect, were announced as the most satisfied of all hybrid vehicle owners.

Those commercial vehicle owners looking to invest in a hybrid Ford transit van can certainly take reassurance from the experience of San Francisco cab drivers, who have been using the vehicles for some time.

"They're incredibly durable. We have these taxis on the street for about 21 hours; we take them off from about 3 a.m. to 6 a.m," said one.

"We have them in stop-and-go traffic, heavy traffic, going up and down these hills. There was a fear at first that they wouldn't be able to take it. But they've been great. The guys drive about 10- to 12-hour shifts at about one third of their previous gas consumption."

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