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Smith Electric Vehicles

Wanna Know Nohm? Come to ACT Expo

April 28, 2016 in ACT Expo 2016, Companies, Electric Drive, EVs by Patrick Couch  |  No Comments

Start-Up Aims for EVs Boasting ‘Price-Parity’ with Diesels

A new company called Nohm will unveil its fully battery-electric shuttle bus at ACT Expo 2016 next week, and will explain how mass production in China (and later in the U.S.) will allow it to offer a zero-emission vehicle costing operators about the same as a diesel.

Smith EVs Is Back With Chinese Backing

May 10, 2015 in ACT Expo 2015, batteries, Companies, Electric Drive, EVs, investments, New Products by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

$35 Million Joint Venture Means ‘Stability, Capital, Capacity’
As FDG Will Supply Smith and Capitalize on Smith’s Past Work
For Expanded Line of Fully Battery Electric Commercial Vehicles

With 12 million on-road miles on its all-electric delivery truck fleet, Smith Electric Vehicles is transitioning from demonstration phase to scale, with the announcement the week of ACT Expo 2015 of a $35 million joint venture with Hong Kong-based battery and vehicle producer FDG Electric Vehicles Limited.

The JV allows Smith to “go to our partners and say, ‘We have stability, capital, capacity,’” business strategy and process VP Terry Pageler told F&F-powered ShowTimes in Dallas.

Smith Electric Vehicle ‘Newton’ truck operating in Frito-Lay’s Dallas-area fleet was shown at ACT Expo 2015. It has 36,000 miles on its odometer.

Smith Electric Vehicle ‘Newton’ truck operating in Frito-Lay’s Dallas-area fleet was shown at ACT Expo 2015. It has 36,000 miles on its odometer.

Smith’s customers include Coca-Cola, FedEx Express, Staples and Frito-Lay, Smith’s largest customer, whose 88-kilowatt-hour 2012 Smith Newton was shown at ACT Expo. It’s one of 265 Smiths in the company’s national fleet, says Mike O’Connell, Frito-Lay senior director of fleet operations.

Smith Resumed Production in January

“The trucks have been great. Drivers like them. They meet all our needs.”

The JV trucks will incorporate Smith’s platform, control software and subsystems in a new 12,000- to 16,500-GVW range truck with FDG’s batteries. A modular approach will let customers choose battery capacity of roughly 20 to 160 kilowatt-hours, depending on their unique needs, Pageler said in Dallas. The trucks will be assembled in Kansas City.

According to the FDG announcement, Smith restarted production of its re-tooled Newton line of commercial battery electric trucks in January, and “expects to scale up manufacturing operations in the United States over the coming 18-24 months commensurate with the launch of this new product.”

The new JV company “is to bring world-class next generation technology to accelerate commercial fleet electrification in the U.S. market.” In addition to Smith’s Newton truck, it will offer the Smith Drive, Smith Link and Smith Power subsystems, as well as the new all-electric commercial EV, lithium ion batteries and all-electric powertrain, “as well as infrastructure, energy contracts and financing.”

A New, ‘Ground-Up’ Platform

The new 12,000- to 16,500-GVW Smith-FDG truck is promised in multiple configurations including cab/chassis, van, including step-through van, and transit. “Unlike existing offerings in this GVW range, which are modified versions of passenger vans or require a separate upfit, this platform has been designed, from the ground-up, exclusively for long-life commercial applications like postal and parcel delivery and people transit,” the announcement says.

Smith Electric Vehicles has long been making the case for battery-powered commercial vehicles. This image is from a Smith Newton technical manual from September 2012.

Smith Electric Vehicles has long been making the case for battery-powered commercial vehicles. This image is from a Smith Newton technical manual from September 2012.

“It will complement the existing all-electric Newton platform, which is currently offered in the 14,000- to 26,000-GVW range.”

“The JV will contract exclusively with Smith Electric for product development services, vehicle manufacturing, service and support, and with FDG for the supply of lithium ion batteries and SKD [semi knocked down] kits.”

Smith’s existing Newton trucks are based on chassis from Avia Ashok Leyland in the Czech Republic.

‘The Time Is Now’

“We believe the time is now for market acceptance of commercial electric vehicles,” Smith CEO Bryan Hansel says in the JV announcement. “We are seeing all of the indications that the market that we helped establish has now turned the corner from the R&D phase to the commercial phase.

“In establishing this JV, we believe this will accelerate our new technology platform development,” Hansel said. “The new company leverages FDG’s ground-up commercial all-electric vehicle designs and its electric vehicle manufacturing facility, which can produce up to 100,000 vehicle per annum, as well as Smith’s 12 million-plus miles of commercial vehicle experience to offer a complete fleet electrification solution.”

“FDG believes that the electric vehicle is the future mainstream of the global automotive industry and that’s why we are a pure electric vehicle company,” said FDG executive chairman Cao Zhong.

‘Mutual Recognition of Each Other’s Technologies’

“We deeply value our relationship with Smith and the formation of the JV represents the mutual recognition of each other’s technologies, the mutual respect for both teams’ professionalism, dedication and passion for electric vehicles. The combined force will be well positioned as a global leader,” he said.

FDG, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, is described as “a vertically integrated electric vehicle and lithium-ion battery manufacturer engaged in the R&D, production and distribution of all-electric vehicles.”

FDG has EV plants in Hangzhou and Kunming and lithium ion battery plants in Jilin and Tianjin.


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Source: FDG & Smith EVs, Fleets & Fuels at ACT Expo 2015 in Dallas

Smith EVs Vows Summer Re-Start

April 8, 2014 in Companies, Electric Drive, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Production Suspended as Supply Chain to Shift Largely to Asia

Smith Electric Vehicles suspended production of its battery electric trucks in Kansas City late last year, but plans to resume with a superior and more economical supply chain based on Tier One component providers this summer, says CEO Bryan Hansel.

XL Hybrids for Coca-Cola: 100 Vans

December 18, 2013 in EVs, Fleet Order, Hybrids by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

All of Coke’s New Chevy Express Service Vans to Get Hybrid Upfit

In a big boost for XL Hybrids, Coca-Cola announced that it’s converting all 100 of its 2014 Chevrolet Express service vans to hybrid electric operation using equipment from the Massachusetts start-up. “Early test results of this hybrid technology were positive, showing a 15 to 20% fuel reduction compared to the Company’s conventional vans,” states a Coca-Cola release.

$3m for Plug Power’s Range-Extender

December 18, 2013 in EVs, fuel cells, Hydrogen, Technology by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

FedEx Express to Test Smith Trucks with Plug Power Fuel Cells

FedEx Express has been awarded $3 million by the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a hydrogen fuel cell delivery truck with a single-fill range of up to 150 miles. Twenty vehicles are to be tested at FedEx facilities in Tennessee and California, DoE said Tuesday.

Smith Electric for Taiwan & Texas

August 27, 2013 in Companies, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

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 EVs Says Scale’s the Thing

August 21, 2013 in Companies, Electric Drive, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Volumes Validating a Supply Chain that Can in Turn Support Volumes,
LoI for Joint Venture In Taiwan for Several Thousand Units Is Expected

Smith Electric Vehicles, says CEO Bryan Hansel, is moving beyond a stubborn phase where low volumes prevented low prices from suppliers – prices that would allow Smith to lower the cost of its finished battery electric trucks.

Smith EVs: 700 Built, and 5 Million Miles

June 16, 2013 in Electric Drive by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Edison and Newton Models Have Logged More than 5 Million Miles,
‘Milestone Marks Transition into Commercial Manufacturing Phase’

Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles is talking up production of more than 700 of its all-electric Edison and Newton trucks, which it says have together generated more than five million miles on the road. The milestone marks a transition into commercial manufacturing, the company said.

Chicago’s Testa Adds Smith Trucks

January 15, 2013 in Biomethane, CNG, Electric Drive by Rich Piellisch  |  Comments Off on Chicago’s Testa Adds Smith Trucks

Biodiesel Operator Is Planning for CNG Vehicles Too

Testa Produce has added two battery trucks by Smith Electric Vehicles to its fleet, and says it will use them for deliveries to customers in its downtown Chicago market. Stated single-charge range is 100 miles.

Smith to Build eTrucks in Chicago

December 10, 2012 in batteries, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

City Becoming EV Central with Incentives & Argonne Batteries,
FedEx Is Adding 100-Plus Smith Battery Trucks to World Fleet

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $15 million incentive program for battery trucks has been followed by word that Smith Electric Vehicles will open an electric vehicle manufacturing facility there, “creating hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and boosting the already rapidly growing battery and electric vehicle sector in the City.”

Frito-Lay Closes in on 300-EV Fleet

August 13, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Frito-Lay Talks Up California’s Largest EV Truck Fleet

“California will be home to 105 all-electric delivery trucks, the largest deployment in any state,” PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America unit said last week as the company hosted officials including California Governor Jerry Brown at the Frito-Lay distribution center in Torrance, Calif.

Chicago Evaluates Multiple EV Bids

June 17, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

The City of Chicago is evaluating bids for battery electric vehicles ranging from pickups to garbage collection trucks.

Would be suppliers include

100 More Smith EVs for Frito-Lay

May 12, 2012 in CNG, Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

With a Million Miles Logged, Firm Vows to ‘Quickly Accelerate’

Pure battery electric trucks operated by PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division “have charged their way to a million miles,” the company said May 10, noting that 176 vehicles from Smith Electric Vehicles have eliminated the need for approximately 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel – and will be augmented by 100 Newton Series 2000 Smith EVs this taking the all-electric fleet to more than 280 units.

Frito-Lay also operates Daimler Freightliner M2-chassis battery trucks from California’s Electric Vehicles International (the EVI-MD; F&F, March 26).

ClipperCreek for PepsiCo/Frito-Lay

January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized by rich  |  No Comments

Lime Energy and SCIenergy Install CS-100s

For Battery Smith EVs in Vast Frito-Lay Fleet

PepsiCo/Frito-Lay’s not talking, but industry sources concur that Lime Energy and SCIenergy have installed Level II ClipperCreek chargers to support nearly 200 battery electric Newton trucks operated by the snack food giant across the U.S.

Frito-Lay driver Shannon Douglas charges a Smith Newton with ClipperCreek charger at recent Frito-Lay open house in Orlando (reported at pluginrecharge.com, photo by Mark Thomason of Palmer Electric)

Frito-Lay driver Shannon Douglas charges a Smith Newton with ClipperCreek charger at recent Frito-Lay open house in Orlando (reported at pluginrecharge.com, photo by Mark Thomason of Palmer Electric)

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America unit said last year that it would deploy 176 battery electric trucks from Smith Electric Vehicles (F&F, September 20, 2010). Frito-Lay is Smith’s largest customer, accounting for 66% of its vehicle sales, or more than $21 million, for the first six months of 2011. Frito-Lay operates more than 20,000 vehicles, Smith notes.

Lime Energy said late last month that it’s completed the design and installation of 90 electric vehicle chargers in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York under a $2 million contract. Lime won’t name its customer, but confirms that the work involves ClipperCreek chargers in support of Smith EVs.

“Lime embraced the opportunity to provide a solution,” executive VP for operations Jim Smith said in a release.

‘A Savings of 30-40%’

As Servidyne, SCIenergy secured a similar contract, reporting that a 10-charger pilot program in Fort Worth led to a $1.75 million contract to install chargers at eight more sites for a total of nearly 80 in seven states (including Florida, where ClipperCreek chargers for Smith EVs could be seen at a recent Frito-Lay open house, detailed at pluginrecharge.com). Servidyne and Scientific Conservation, Inc. merged this past summer to form SCIenergy.

According to Lime Energy, “The benefits of utilizing electric vehicles continue to accrue in today’s marketplace. Along with state and federal grants, electric vehicles offer reduced annual maintenance costs, more favorable utility rates, and integrated controls. One-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector, and switching vehicles from liquid fuels to the electric grid will have a dramatic impact on emission reduction goals,” the company said late last month.

illustration from a Servidyne case study shows ClipperCreek charger and 'snack food company' electric truck

illustration from a Servidyne case study shows ClipperCreek charger and ‘snack food company’ electric truck

“Ultimately, our customers can achieve a savings of 30-40% by switching to electric delivery vehicles as part of their overall energy efficiency program design,” said John O’Rourke, Lime’s President and CEO. “This offers an attractive return on investment and Lime’s unique capability to design and install these charging stations will continue to be a part of our portfolio of clean energy solutions.”

ClipperCreek’s CS-100 charger is rated at a powerful 80 amps continuous. ClipperCreek claims the first UL-approved EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) line produced in America.

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