Electric Trucks

02 April 2008

UK electric vehicle manufacturer Smith Electric Vehicles – part of the Tanfield Group that also owns UpRight Powered Access and Snorkel – is to start manufacturing its zero emission trucks in North America next year.

The company will start producing trucks at a facility in Fresno, California, but aims to open a larger facility to give it a 10000 unit annual production capacity by 2010.

The company makes a range of battery powered vehicles from 7000 lb (3.2 t) vans to 25000 lb (11.3 t) trucks and is now launching the 24000 lb (10.9 t) Smith Newton in North America. The Newton has a top speed of 50 mph and has a fully charged range of up to 150 miles. The vehicle has a payload capacity of up to 15800lbs and is available in US truck Classes 5, 6 and 7.

Kevin Harkin, sales director for Smith Electric Vehicles, said: “Automotive manufacturers are telling us that the technology for mass-produced electric cars is some years away. But the larger sized commercial vehicle – and the truck in particular – is perfectly suited to electric technology that is available today.

“There are millions of commercial vehicles in North America that work in urban areas, within defined low mileage zones or routes. All of these machines, from light postal vehicles to heavier duty distribution trucks, can be replaced with our new technology electric vehicles.”

The Newton was launched in Europe early in 2007 and is now being used as delivery vehicles by companies including Starbucks and DHL.

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