Thursday, July 8, 2010

President Obama Visits Electric Delivery Truck Factory

Smith's Honoured by Special Trip
Shipping News Feature

US – Regular readers will know that we are always pleased to publish stories about the new generation of environmentally sound freight delivery vehicles (just type Electric into the News Search box as evidence) but today sees a special honour for one of the foremost companies in the field who are producing practical commercial vehicles every day.

President Barack Obama is making a special trip to visit the Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation (Smith US) facility in Kansas City, Missouri today where he will discuss the economy with the plant’s 50 workers. Smith US is the only company the President is visiting that day.

Smith US, which is America’s first manufacturer of new technology, all-electric trucks, recently received $22m in grants from the Obama administration. The funding, which follows an initial $10m government grant, is helping Smith US to build more than 500 of its market-leading ‘Smith Newton’ electric trucks. Designed for urban operations, the Newton has a top speed of 50mph, a range of up to 100 miles on a full battery charge and payload capabilities of up to 16,000lbs (7,500kg).

Smith US is an associate company of Smith Electric Vehicles UK (Smith UK), which was founded in 1920 and is the longest established electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. Based in Tyne & Wear, the company produces the world’s largest range of electric commercial vehicles (vans and trucks), in the Smith Edison van and minibus (electric Ford Transit) and the Smith Newton truck. Hundreds of these electric vehicles are now in service in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, France, Hong Kong and Southern China.

Bryan Hansel CEO of Smith US, said:

“This is a very proud day for everyone at Smith Electric Vehicles. The Government has been extremely supportive of Smith US since we started work in Kansas City last year. This help is enabling us to quickly grow and develop our business, attracting new customers and already creating a significant number of jobs.

“Electric trucks represent a fantastic opportunity for America to create green collar jobs, cut carbon emissions from the most polluting vehicles on our highways and reduce reliance on foreign oil.”

The President will witness first hand the range of Smith’s electric commercial vehicles including the development of their latest project a purely electric version of the iconic London black taxi. Smiths US only began production in October last year and have already supplied vehicles to numerous blue chip companies like the Frito-Lay liveried Newton pictured here.