Smith Electric Vehicles arrives in US

Smith Electric Vehicles announced plans to assemble and market all-electric vehicles in North America.

The Tanfield Group of the United Kingdom has established a North American subsidiary, Smith Electric Vehicles US, as Delaware corporation with temporary headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. The subsidiary plans to produce its own electric truck — the Smith Newton — in addition to converting other manufacturers' trucks to operate on electric power.

The Newton has a top speed of 50 mph and can travel more than 100 miles before its lithium-ion batteries need to be recharged. Recharging the battery takes between six and eight hours. With a maximum GVW rating of 26,455 pounds, the Newton can transport up to 16,280 pounds of payload.

Smith is working with Ford to produce electric versions of the new (to the US) Ford Transit Connect, a light-duty commercial van beginning in 2010.

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