It looks like electric delivery truck maker Smith Electric Vehicles is getting plugged back in this summer. The Kansas City, MO-based company, which halted production last year, is getting a $42-million equity investment from Hong Kong-based lithium-ion battery maker Sinopoly Battery Ltd. The catch, of course, is that Sinopoly will be the exclusive battery supplier for Smith and its Newton trucks. But that's certainly better than a sharp stick in the eye.
Sometimes, you just don't want anyone to know what's happening. That's how Smith Electric Vehicles must have felt about stopping production of its all-electric delivery trucks in Kansas City, MO late last year. There was no press release issued and even the local newspaper, The Kansas City Star, didn't find out about the shutdown until a new quarterly filing was just submitted to the US Department of Energy.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Smith Electric Vehicles are working together to create an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Chicago. Smith Electric Vehicles was drawn to the city by the mayor's voucher system designed to accelerate conversion from diesel to zero-emission electric vehicles, a large number of fleets that are interested in going electric and development incentives offered to Smith. Smith is saying it will create "hundreds of direct and indirect jobs" there.
Well, that was short-lived.
Smith Electric Vehicles Newton – Click above for high-res image gallery
Click the Transit Connect for a high res gallery
The electric truck industry in the UK appears to be going into overdrive! Modec continues to land new accounts with their uniquely-engineered vehicle while over at Smith EV, they are celebrating a purchase order from their client, TNT, for 100 of their 7.5 ton Newton lorry (pictured above). The sale marks a significant continuation of their corporate relationship as the express delivery giant had already placed an order for 50 vehicles last year. This additional complement to their EV fleet will
Smith EV, which makes delivery vans and trucks in the UK and Europe, has finally announced its plans for the US: Up to 10,000 EV trucks will be built in a facility that "could be sited anywhere in North America, would require up to a 300 acre site, including a 500,000sq ft assembly facility, test track and space for rolling stock. It would create at least 500 jobs."