Smith Electric Expands U.S. Operations

electric motor
electric motor

Smith Electric, the world’s leading builder of commercial electric vehicles has recently announced its expansion with the opening of an electric vehicle building plant in New York. While it is the leading builder, the main focus of the company is the creation of battery powered vans and trucks.

In the New York manufacturing facility, the company would be building its top selling zero emission Newton. This truck is all-electric with the range of 150 miles and can be maintained at half the price of conventional diesel trucks of nearly the same gross vehicle weight.

Aside from the company’s influx of funds, it is assisted by a package of state and city incentives amounting to nearly $11 million a year. The manufacturing facility would be the company’s second manufacturing, sales and service center in the United States. The company would add an additional hundred employees to the local economy and would be rolling out the first Newtons at the second half of 2012.

Smith Electric was founded in North East England in 1920 and has been steadily producing commercial electric vehicles in the 3,500 to 12,000 Gross Vehicle Weight range. The company produces the following commercial electric vehicles.

  • The Newton Electric Truck. Launched in 2006 and is the first full production vehicle of the company. There are three major GVW configurations, namely 7,500 kg, 10,000 kg and 12,000 kg with options for short, medium or long wheel base. The vehicle is powered by a 120 kilowatt electric induction motor built by Enova Systems and fueled through its lithium-ion iron phosphate batteries from Valence Technology. Even the battery packs can be configured to either 80kWh or 120kWh. The Newton was adjudged in 2010 as the Green Commercial of the Year of Fleet Transport magazines Irish Truck of the Year.
  • The Edison Electric Truck. This is an electric vehicle that uses a design inspired by the Ford Transit chassis. The design can either be as a panel van or a minibus with a chassis cab that allows for storage configurations such as box, refrigerated, tipper, cage, flat bed or beaver tail. The design uses a 90kW induction motor also from Enova Systems with either a 40kWh or 51kWh lithium-ion iron phosphate battery set up from Valence Technologies. It has six configuration options between the 3,500 kg to 4,600 kg GVW for the chassis cab while there are twelve configurations for the panel van, including options on roof height and length of wheelbase. The minibus configuration has six options with as many as a seventeen seater capacity and options for length of wheelbase and height of roof.