U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) announced Wednesday that Smith Electric Vehicles U.S., has had an additional 22 Million dollar DOE grant added to the 10 million awarded the company in 2009, for a total of 32 million dollars. The money will go toward new vehicle development and to "incentivize" fleet customers to participate in an EV demonstration program that will allow the company to gather data on its new products in different regions (and climate conditions) of the U.S..
Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. is a privately held corporation that began life as an offshoot of Smith Electric Vehicles U.K., Europe's oldest and largest manufacturer of commercial electric vehicles. In an interesting wag-the-dog development, the U.S. company recently tendered an offer to buy Smith U.K. from Tanfeld Corporation, its parent corporation.
Smith U.S. began producing its Newton range of electric trucks at its small Kansas City assembly plant in October of 2009. With a 16,000 payload capacity and a range of 100 miles, the full-size Newton is arguably the largest electric vehicle currently available for sale, and the first battery-electric commercial vehicle to receive new vehicle emissions certification from the state of California.
In February, Smith announced plans to expand it's production facilities to include as many as twenty new regional production plants around the country.
[Source: Smith U.S.]