The 1998 Electric Ranger is a low-volume production electric vehicle. The Electric Ranger is built on the 1998 gasoline-powered Ranger platform and is sold and serviced through Ford dealerships. A traction battery mounted under the vehicle between the frame rails supplies the electric power. The traction battery provides 312 volts direct current (DC), which is converted to three-phase alternating current (AC) that drives the motor/transaxle. The Electric Ranger is a rear-wheel drive vehicle and operates much like the gasoline-powered models. The most noticeable difference between the Electric Ranger and the gasoline-powered Ranger is the operating noise is very low. Because of the quiet operation of the vehicle, a motor enabled gauge is provided and is located on the right side of the instrument cluster. The motor enabled gauge indicates ON with the ignition switch in the RUN or START position and indicates OFF with the ignition switch in the OFF position or the powertrain becomes disabled.
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ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) HISTORY
Current legistration requires the development and distribution of zero-emission vehicles. Today, only electric vehicles qualify as zero-emission vehicles. This legislation also states all automobile manufacturers who sell over 5,000 vehicles a year in regulated states must develop and manufacture electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles (EVs) were first developed in the early 1900s. These early EVs traveled at low speeds (24 km/h [15 mph]) and had limited range (48-64 kilometers [30-40 miles]).
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Ford Motor Company began its recent EV development in 1982 with the introduction of the ETX 1, a converted Lynx LN7. A lead-acid battery and a 37-kW (50-hp) AC motor powered this experimental vehicle. The ETX 2 followed. The ETX 2 is a converted Aerostar using a refined 53-kW (70-hp) motor; several battery types were used and tested.
In 1993, Ford began a demonstration program to help potential customers gain real-world experience in the use of electric-powered vehicles. With the participation of utility companies and other commercial organizations, this program has now reached the one million-mile mark in vehicle miles driven. The vehicle platform for this demonstration is the Ecostar; a two-passenger electric vehicle based on the European Ford Escort Van. This demonstration program paved the way for production of the Electric Ranger.
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