Commercial EV builder Smith Electric Vehicles has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with Taikang Technology Corporation, a Taiwanese manufacturer in that specializes in upfitting municipal commercial vehicles.
The JV plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Taiwan, which will produce 5,000 vehicles in its first three years. Taikang has been working with the Taiwanese Environmental Protection Agency on a deal to transform its fleet of garbage trucks to all-electric. The trucks will be Smith Electric Newton and Edison models configured for garbage pick-up, and will use proprietary Smith Drive, Smith Power and Smith Link components.
“This is another significant milestone for Smith. With this letter of intent, we are eager to complete our first ever licensee agreement for the Company,” said Smith CEO Bryan Hansel. “Smith Electric plans more licensee agreements to support its long-term global growth strategy to meet growing demand for fleet transformation through electrification around the world.”
Smith Electric believes that short-haul urban transport is the greatest market opportunity for fleet electrification. Medium-duty gas and diesel trucks are expensive to operate and are one of the biggest contributors to urban pollution. These vehicles typically travel on fixed routes of fewer than 100 miles per day, and are based in a centralized depot, making them ideal for conversion. According to Smith, customers can save an estimated 70% per year on fuel and maintenance costs.
Source: Smith Electric Vehicles