Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp., a Delaware corporation headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., announced March 27 its plan to assemble all-electric zero-emission commercial vehicles in Kansas City. The new assembly plant will be located at a portion of an airline overhaul base at Kansas City International (KCI) Airport and is expected to create 120 jobs by 2010. Production of the first zero-emission commercial trucks is scheduled to begin third quarter of 2009.
SEV U.S. Corp will initially focus its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery fleets.
SEV U.S. Corp has already received a strong expression of interest from fleet operators and as a result, the company is building a highly scalable assembly operation and supply chain to serve this emerging market. SEV U.S. Corp will begin production using chassis from multiple vehicle manufacturers.
Canteen Vending Services, a national vending company and an operating division of the Compass Group North America based in Charlotte N.C., has already signed a letter of intent with SEV U.S. Corp to purchase some of the first zero-emission vehicles to roll off the assembly line.
Through its U.K. partner, The Tanfield Group Plc, SEV U.S. Corp is working with Ford Motor Company to electrify the Ford Transit Connect as a BEV (battery electric vehicle) light-duty van scheduled for production in 2010.
SEV U.S. Corp's first zero-emission truck model will be the Smith Newton - the world's largest battery-electric-powered truck, according to the company. It 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 16,280 lbs.
In addition to its partnership agreement with Ford on the Transit Connect, SEV U.S. Corp will expand its zero-emission product line to include other van and light truck models based on demand.