• Oct 25th 2010 at 4:01PM
  • 17
Smith Electric Vehicles Newton – Click above for high-res image gallery

Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles has signed another deal that will send a group of 41 Newton electric trucks to office supply extraordinaire Staples, Inc. Starting next month, Smith Electric will begin delivering its Newton to Staples stores in Missouri, California and Ohio. This latest order comes just over a month after Frito-Lay announced plans to deploy up to 176 Newton electric trucks by the end of 2011.

Smith's Newton electric truck is more than capable of handling its daily task of delivering goods. The Newton is designed for inner-city, stop-and-go driving and can run along at a top speed of 55 miles per hour while hauling up to 16,000 pounds of potato chips, office supplies or anything else that fits in the expansive cargo hold. With an expected range of 50 to 120 miles on single charge, the Newton has adequate range to tackle the daily grind. Hat tip to Joz!

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      If used properly, this vehicles will pay for themselves in fuel savings. Just charge them every night and do ~100 miles of deliveries each day on electricity. You'll be able to do thousands of miles of deliveries each year and pay next to nothing for fuel.

      The US Post office needs to get in on this action. They have the PERFECT application for EV vans. Short routes, stop & go traffic, central location, etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Good point. Electric vehicles for the post office would blow away what they're currently driving: unaerodynamic boxes with 1970's era GM 2.5L 'iron duke' motors. These things struggle to get 20mpg highway and hit more like 15mpg city..
        Plus, they idle and stop and go more than they actually drive.

        All that gas is a huge waste of money. They lost $3.19 billion dollars last year.. which is coming straight out of the US treasury now. I wonder what their fuel bill looks like? Probably in the billions.

        I wonder why the USPS hasn't been electrified much earlier. It would seem that even an oldschool Lead Acid battery-operated delivery vans would be an improvement over those Iron Duke gas hogs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They are currently testing 5 different EV delivery vehicles from 5 different manufacturers in the DC area.
        • 4 Years Ago

        USPS vehicles average LESS than 10 MPG! with some less than 5 MPG
        • 4 Years Ago
        Here's Quantum's EV prototype for the USPS:

      • 4 Years Ago
      This is great for Smith, who is demonstrating a commitment to provide clean cargo vehicles!
        • 4 Years Ago
        They've demonstrated their commitment for the last 100 years in delivery vehicles, but they couldn't get the batteries to provide good performance until recently.
        Now they have the batteries there is not much they don't know about building, and maintaining, electric vehicles.
        • 4 Years Ago

        They're also looking past batteries, towards other EV drive trains, to make up for what current batteries lack.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Smith uses any zero emission power source as they become available:
        'SMITH Electric Vehicles is trialling a fuel cell that could double the range of its battery-powered vans and trucks.

        Electric commercial vehicles have a maximum range of around 100 miles (160km) which makes them ideal for low mileage urban operations. However, by adding a small hydrogen fuel cell as a range extender, the vehicles will be able to achieve closer to 200 miles (320km).

        Kevin Harkin, Sales Director for Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "Utilising a fuel cell range extender opens up exciting new possibilities for our electric vans and trucks.

        "Enhancing the range capabilities provides a wider application for electric vehicles within large fleets, without compromising our zero emission philosophy."

        The UK-based manufacturer has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with fuel cell experts Proton Power Systems plc in Germany.'

      • 4 Years Ago
      That's about as aerodynamic as .... a brick wall.
      It says 50mph [top] plastered on the side, not 55.
      Better yet, keep this thing under 35 - completely in the city.

      There's many aero shapes for semi's that increase MPG (standard ICE) by a factor of *2*...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Aerodynamics don't really kick in until higher speeds than this is intended for. These work fine as delivery trucks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am not sure why you think that the Smith vehicle will be limited to 30mph when they are claiming 50mph.
        Other Smith vehicles are in use fairly extensively in the UK, and small numbers are being used in a number of fleets for blue chip companies.
        They don't do that by claiming performance they can't reach.
        Here in the UK the fastest speed in the city is normally 50mph, and 30-35mph would notably hold up other traffic.
        They would only do this on urban freeways, and would not spend much of their time at that sort of speed, but I have no doubt that they are designed to reach it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        correct. I am recommending an actual "higher speed" on these bricks: 35 mph, not 55, and not 50, as shown.
        In all seriousness, these are clearly designed for city deliveries - I'd rather have these running around than an equiv. ICE truck any day...

        • 4 Years Ago
        I did not state, nor I am claiming, that "the Smith vehicle will be limited to 30mph when they are claiming 50mph."
        In fact, I specifically pointed out they have 50mpg plastered on their truck, plain as day, in large letters, yet the article says 55mpg (weird).

        I am just saying, from a efficiency standpoint, I *recommend* these trucks stay under 35mph (for most vehicles with poor to average CdA, 35mph is the inflection point where v^2 effects start killing your mpg, or, put another way, where the bulk of your energy switches from rolling resistance to air resistance...)

        This is just a guesstimate, I am sure Smith knows exactly what sort of mpge they get, at each speed, given the mass, size, etc. of the truck.

        • 4 Years Ago
        sigh, mpg mph mpge, please insert the correct one at the correct place in each sentence.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OK, I've got you now!
        the difference between the 50mph and 55 mph claim could be as simple as laden and unladen weight - quite a difference in a delivery truck!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Put a compactor on the back and you have a nice garbage truck.
      Three cheers for Staples.
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