Smith and Altec unveil America's first all-electric truck mount

By Maria Hadlow22 June 2009

Smith Electric Vehicles and Altec unveil America's first all-electric, utility truck mounted aerial

Smith Electric Vehicles and Altec unveil America's first all-electric, utility truck mounted aerial platform.

Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation, part of the Tanfield Group, has teamed up with Altec Industries Inc to introduce America's first all-electric utility truck with an aerial platform. The truck will be unveiled today (June 22) at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The truck is a battery; all-electric Smith Newton produced by SEV US and SEV UK with the boom and an aerial platform designed and integrated by Altec. The first unit is going to PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric Company) and will be used to conduct routine and emergency overhead line work in PG&E's northern and central California service area.

PG&E will provide test data to SEV U.S. and Altec for the creation of a production model. Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer of SEV US said, "We are excited to be working with PG&E and Altec on this effort to help the utility industry accelerate the reduction of fuel emissions with the introduction of electric-drive fleet vehicles.The production of this truck is just the latest example of PG&E's outstanding leadership role in sustainability-related initiatives."

Dave Meisel, director of transportation services for PG&E said, "PG&E is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations and helping to improve air quality in the communities we serve. We hope our involvement will lead to the accelerated development and mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles in our industry."

The Smith Newton is the world's largest battery-electric-powered truck. It is fuel emissions-free, runs without noise or vibration, and actually stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it for acceleration. The Smith Newton has a top speed of up to 50 mph, a range on one battery charge in excess of 100 miles and a payload of up to 7400 kg (16280 lbs).

The Altec component, an AT37-G aerial boom, is a telescopic articulating device used for electric utility line maintenance and installation. The platform has a maximum height of 11.5 m (37.8 ft) and a 8.6 m (28.3 ft).

Mr Hansel of PG&E said, "Having this truck in service in PG&E's fleet is part of much larger developmental programme to evaluate all-electric fleet vehicle applications for the utility industry. Utilities have a huge role to play in helping lead the electrification of vehicles in the U.S."

SEV US is initially focusing its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery and service fleets. The trucks will be assembled at the company's 80000 sq ft plant in Kansas City.

SEV US reports a strong expression of interest from fleet operators and as a result, the company is building a scalable assembly operation and supply chain to serve the emerging market. SEV US will begin production using chassis from multiple vehicle manufacturers.

In collaboration with the Ford Motor Company, SEV U.S. has agreed to up-fit Ford chassis to deliver Ford's first electrified vehicle for the North American market.

Using proprietary technologies transferred from the Tanfield Group Plc, SEV US will assemble and manufacture the Transit Connect as a battery electric vehicle light-duty van scheduled for production in 2010.

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