Smith Electric Vehicles is making moves. Following a formal IPO submission to the SEC (complete with many pretty color pictures), the electric truck manufacturer announced it will build the all-electric trucks in a most unlikely place: New York City. Specifically, the Bronx.
Smith expects to create up to 100 jobs there to build the Newton by the time production starts in the second half of 2012. The truck has a range of up to 150 miles and Smith says it has, "an average annual operating cost that is one-third to one-half that of conventional diesel trucks with comparable gross vehicle weights." Smith is also happy to mention state plug-in incentive "vouchers of up to $20,000 per vehicle," but it doesn't list prices for the Newton on its website (at least, not that we could find). The truck is available with different-size battery packs. The New York location will be Smith's second in the U.S., and "will not affect production or job levels at Smith's headquarters in Kansas City, MO." Smith has already sold trucks to the U.S. Marines, Staples, AT&T and more.
As for that IPO, Smith is looking to raise $125 million. That is ambitious, especially considering that the company missed its 2011 sales targets. It originally said it would sell 1,000 vehicles this year, but the company's SEC filing clearly states that, "Over the twelve months ended September 30, 2011, we sold 320 vehicles, and as of October 31, 2011 we have an order backlog of 120 vehicles and have allocated nearly all of our estimated 540 production slots through July 2012." So, not quite 1,000, but also not quite zero.
New Multi-Year New York State Commercial EV Program Offers Purchase Incentives for Fleets to Go Electric
(KANSAS CITY, MO.) – November 15, 2011 – Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. (Smith), a leader in all-electric commercial vehicles, today announced that the company will expand its U.S. operations by adding a manufacturing facility in New York State, creating up to 100 new direct local jobs. Smith will manufacture the zero-emission Newton™, its all-electric medium duty vehicle with a range of up to 150 miles and an average annual operating cost that is one-third to one-half that of conventional diesel trucks with comparable gross vehicle weights (GVWs), at the new facility beginning in 2012. A package of city and state incentives of approximately $11 million will augment Smith's private investment.
Also today, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the development of a federally-funded, multi-year commercial electric vehicle (EV) buyer incentive program to accelerate adoption of commercial EVs and allow for strategic fleet conversion throughout New York State. The program, with an expected run of five years, has been specifically tailored to help companies in New York State convert significant portions of their fleets as a result of the ability to plan with vouchers available over multiple years. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has committed $10 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding for the first year, which will be offered in the form of vouchers of up to $20,000 per vehicle. The program will be managed by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), and will offer voucher incentives to the purchasers of any qualified all-electric vehicle over 10,000 pounds GVW - regardless of manufacturer. The Smith Newton qualifies for this program.
"This expansion reflects an important step in executing Smith's localized assembly, sales and service strategy," commented Bryan Hansel, CEO and chairman of Smith. "Our approach creates jobs, provides Smith customers with more localized support and significantly reduces the costs associated with shipping completed vehicles to our customers. We applaud the governor's leadership and that of the numerous state and local officials who have come together to support a program that encourages fleets to accelerate their conversion from diesel to electric."
"New York has shown tremendous leadership at the borough, city and state level in paving the way for commercial fleet electrification," said Sam Ori, director of policy for the Electrification Coalition, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit group that promotes deployment of electric vehicles on a mass scale. "This multi-year commercial EV incentive program is a strong example of the state's commitment to accelerate deployment of this technology, which is critical for reducing U.S. oil dependence and enhancing long-term national and economic security."
"Coca-Cola is proud to partner with Smith Electric Vehicles in making our delivery fleet more efficient," commented Steven Saltzgiver, director of fleet operations, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Smith's presence in New York City, coupled with the state's incentive program, will help us accelerate conversion in New York as we continue to build a more efficient and environmentally-friendly Coke fleet."
The new facility – Smith's second U.S. manufacturing, sales and service center – will not affect production or job levels at Smith's headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. The first Newton vehicles are planned for production in New York in the second half of 2012.
About Smith Electric Vehicles
Smith Electric Vehicles Corp. (www.smithelectric.com) develops, produces and sells zero-emission commercial electric vehicles that are designed to be an alternative to traditional diesel trucks, providing higher efficiency and lower total cost of ownership. Smith's vehicle designs leverage more than 80 years of market knowledge from selling and servicing electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. Smith Electric Vehicles produces the Newton™ and the Edison™. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and outside of Newcastle, U.K.