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Smith Electric Vehicles Newton – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford Transit Connect BEV - click above for high-res image gallery

As soon as we heard the announcement about Smith Electric Vehicles US Corp and Ford's Smith-built Transit Connect coming to America, our minds soon turned to the battery supplier of that company, Valence Technology. The Austin, Texas-based firm keeps a lower profile than some of its competitors like A123 and Enerdel preferring, it seems, to quietly go about the business of being putting its batteries into vehicles as diverse as the Segway and the PV1 truck.

Even though the British Tanfield Group that manufactures Smith electric trucks has a product that should be seeing growing demand in a time of record oil prices, the overall economic malaise is hitting the bottom line. Battery powered Smith trucks are used primarily by commercial customers and since those customers are getting hit hard they are cutting back on capital expenditures. That means that although Tanfield's business is still growing, the ramp rate has declined. In addition Smith is hav