First electric Ford F-59 van now in production by Australia's SEA Electric | The Driven
Sea Electric are making all-electric Ford F-59s. Source: Ford
Sea Electric are making all-electric Ford F-59s. Source: Ford

Victorian-based SEA Electric has announced “a turning point” in its overseas expansion with the first Ford F-59 100% electric van entering production at Ford’s Detroit Chassis Plant, Detroit, Michigan.

SEA Electric – based in Dandenong South in Victoria – announced earlier this year that it was taking its EV-making expertise overseas with the decision to deliver two 100% electric trucks and an electric van for the American market.

The vehicles – based on Ford and Isuzu chassis and set to be displayed at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis – would be fitted with SEA Electric’s own powertrain.

The Green Truck Summit which was held in conjunction with the Work Truck Show in March of 2019 yielded multiple orders for the company’s Ford F-59 electric prototype.

“Feedback in the United States to our SEA Electric technology from both government and private buyers has been extremely positive with several customers already placing orders,” said SEA Electric Tony Fairweather  in April.

Fast-forward to last week, and SEA Electric announced that the first first Ford F-59 100% electric van had entered production at Ford’s Detroit Chassis Plant.

“This is an exciting step forward for SEA Electric’s global footprint and a positive result for our USA operations who are currently working towards fulfilling several orders in the pipeline,” said Fairweather.

The F-59 is being built on a Morgan Olson Walk-in Van body and will be powered by a SEA Drive 120b power-system and boasts 150kW of continuous power and 250kW maximum power, and 2500 Nm maximum torque.

Set to be deployed in the Northern Hemisphere’s Autumn of 2019, the 100% electric van will boast a range of up to 350 kilometres (220 miles), zero emissions, fewer moving parts, and lower running costs, resulting in a perfect vehicle for short stop-start delivery runs.

Source: Sea Electric
Source: Sea Electric

Charging the vehicles batteries will take between 4 to 6 hours using 19.2kW single phase 240V on board charger.

“We’re confident the fleet customer will love the overall performance of this SEA-Drive powered delivery van,” said David Brosky, SEA Electric’s Regional Director for North America.

“We anticipate a very successful trial which will lead to substantial follow-on orders from fleet customers within the next 6- 12 months.”

“We see a growing interest, within our portfolio of walk-in step van customers, to include electrified work trucks within their fleets,” added John Knudtson, Morgan Olson’s Director of Business Development.

“We’re pleased to be working with SEA Electric on this new Ford F59 electric chassis. In the past, we’ve built numerous step van bodies on various alternative powertrains and are pleased with how our body has adapted to the new Sea Electric platform.”

SEA Electric also debuted images in late August of a number of various models it is making including the Isuzu F Series electric truck which will have a range of 350 kilometres using the company’s SEA-Drive 100 or 120 electric power-systems.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that SEA Electric is based in the Latrobe Valley.

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