LoI with Taikang Technology Calls for 5,000 Vehicles over Three Years,
Smith Also to Provide 30 Trucks for CTE Effort in Houston-Galveston Area
Smith Electric Vehicles has disclosed a Letter of Intent to form a joint venture with Taikang Technology Corp in Taiwan. The next step, Smith says, is a definitive licensing agreement to cover assembly and distribution of all-electric vehicles in Taiwan, “opening up an important new market.” Separately, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and CTE, the Center for Transportation and the Environment said Smith is to provide 30 diesel-replacing delivery trucks.
Smith has said it needs volumes to maintain a quality supply chain (F&F, August 21). The tie with Taikang, it says, could do just that: “The JV’s first three years of production is anchored by a 5,000 vehicle commitment, including transformation of a significant portion of the country’s municipal garbage truck fleet,” Smith says.
Taikang is a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in Taiwan, Smith says, with 25 years of automotive experience and expertise in upfitting specialized municipal commercial vehicles.
The vehicles for Taiwan will be Smith Electric-branded. The initial trucks will be Newton and Edison model vehicles.
‘Sole Sourcing and Procurement Rights’
“Smith Electric will have the sole sourcing and procurement rights for its proprietary Smith Drive, Smith Power, and Smith Link components,” states a release, noting too that the JV agreement will cover the creation of a new manufacturing plant in Taiwan.
“With this letter of intent, we are eager to complete our first ever licensee agreement,” Smith CEO Bryan Hansel said in a release. “Smith Electric plans more licensee agreements,” he said, “to support its long-term global growth strategy to meet growing demand for fleet transformation through electrification around the world.”
Smith says it believes short haul urban transport to be the current greatest market opportunity for fleet electrification, “a market in which operator demand, logistical viability, political support and environmental benefit are all aligned.”
Fostering a Battery Truck Market in Texas
The U.S. DoE-supported H-GAC Zero Emission Truck project for the Houston-Galveston area “will demonstrate the effectiveness of all-electric delivery vehicles to perform at the same level of operation as similarly sized diesel delivery vehicles while significantly reducing emissions and petroleum use,” states a CTE release.
“The combined efforts of project partners will help further the objective of developing a market for this advanced electric transportation technology,” CTE says.
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Source: Smith Electric Vehicles with Fleets & Fuels follow-up