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Right next to the Modec booth at EVS23, Smith Electric Vehicles commanded a swath of floor space with their large Smith Newton electric truck. Mark Aubry, North American sales manager for Smith Electric Vehicles, was available for an interview and told AutoblogGreen about how these trucks could work for American companies. The official launch of these EVs in the U.S. was two days before we spoke.

The Smith Newton is a 26,000 pound GVW truck, a class 7 truck, 16,000 payload. Smaller versions - class 5 or 6 - are also available. Depending on customer need, these trucks can be delivered with between two and six batteries (one battery doesn't have enough power to move the truck). Using four batteries, the truck can go 150 miles with a 50 mph top speed, while two batteries give you a 40-60 mile range and work best with light products (garments, for example). More batteries also reduce the payload capacity. Each battery pack costs $16,000. With four battery packs, a 2007 Smith Newton is $150,000 ($64,000 for the batteries, $86,000 for the truck). While that's a large amount, Aubry said operating costs are a low 11 cents a mile.

Smith Newtons use sodium nickel chloride (Zebra) batteries, the current battery of choice for heavy trucks. Aubry said that Smith is testing lithium ion batteries and expects to sell trucks with that option in the near future. The Zebra-laden trucks are available now, as is my interview with Aubry (7:30 min, 5 MB).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 5 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope to see tons of these trucks all over the place. Good luck!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Susan, If you look around the Smith website http://www.smithelectricvehicles.com you will find images and details of the Smith Edison, which is a range of (Ford-based) vans/pickups weighing in at 3.5tons. And here is an image of an Edison being used by a builders plant hire company http://bioage.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/11/23/aplant.png taken from this report at the Green Car Congress website http://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/11/a-plant-introdu.html
      • 7 Years Ago
      I forgot to mention - yes, there is a peoplecarrier version of the Edison available. And apparently Smith intend producing an articulated version of the Newton sometime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Each battery pack costs $16,000"

      16K is OK fine for now, but something like 6K per battery would make these trucks fly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Did you ask them if they plan to add a regular pickup truck like a construction company might use? And a smaller van for people?

      If they can bring this here, they could replace all the trucks and SUVs on the road in this backward nation. If our own companies won't do EVs, lets bring them in from the EU, where they have had the benefit of the years under Kyoto spurring exactly this kind of development.