Smith Electric Vehicles plans EV manufacturing plant in New York City

The company will begin production of its Newton™ all-electric medium-duty truck at the new factory in the second half of 2012, creating up to 100 local jobs.

Smith Electric Vehicles announced yesterday that it will open a new manufacturing facility in the South Bronx, delivering a much-needed jolt of investment to the rust-tinged region. The company will begin production of its Newton™ all-electric medium-duty truck at the new factory in the second half of 2012, creating up to 100 local jobs. SEV, the US subsidiary of a UK company that’s been making EVs for 80 years, already has factories in Kansas City, Missouri, and in England.

The Newton, which comes in several configurations, has a range of up to 150 miles, and claims to offer fuel savings of as much as 75% compared to similarly-sized diesel trucks. It’s already being used by several large fleet operators, including Coca-Cola, FedEx, Staples and the US Marines. SEV has a full order book, and is planning an IPO.

The city and state governments sweetened the pot for SEV with a package of goodies worth around $11 million. Also yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new federally-funded incentive program for buyers of commercial EVs. The five-year mission will offer companies in the Empire State vouchers worth up to $20,000 each for the purchase of all-electric vehicles over 10,000 pounds.

“This expansion reflects an important step in executing Smith's localized assembly, sales and service strategy,” said Smith CEO Bryan Hansel. “Our approach creates jobs, provides Smith customers with more localized support and significantly reduces the costs associated with shipping completed vehicles to our customers. We applaud the governor's leadership and that of the numerous state and local officials who have come together to support a program that encourages fleets to accelerate their conversion from diesel to electric.”

 

Image: Smith Electric Vehicles