Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. announced today that it's Newton truck line, the first commercial all-electric truck to receive new vehicle emissions certification in California, will be expanded to include not only small delivery vans, but 14,000 and 16,000 lb. short-haul trucks. This is in interesting counterpoint to niche player Balqon, who recently began selling an even larger electric truck aimed at port drayage, and Vision Industries which is going in a slightly different direction with its prototype Hydrogen fuel-cell/PHEV tractor trailer.
Assembly of Smith's Newton vehicles, which are capable of 50 mph and over 100 miles per charge, began taking place earlier this month at the company's new 80,000 square foot production facility in Kansas City, Missouri.
In addition to pursuing commercial sales, Smith will be producing zero-emissions trucks for a nationwide demonstration program mandated by the U.S. Department of Energy. The company was awarded a $10 Million grant for this purpose in August.
Long known as a leading manufacturer of electric milk delivery trucks and small service vans, Smith Electric Vehicles U.K. has been one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in Europe since the 1920's and has produced more road-going EV's than any other company in the world. In the 1990's the company, under financial pressure from a flagging British milk-van market, expanded it's commercial EV product line to include many new models such as the larger Newton family of vehicles. These have been notably successful, and the company now sells throughout Europe, Hong Kong, Macau, Canada, and to the privately held affiliate Smith Electric Vehicles U.S., which is partially owned by the Smith U.K. parent corporation The Tanfield Group Plc.
[SOURCE: Press Release, SmithElectric]