Smith Electric Vehicles US Acquires UK Parent

USMC becomes the first military organisation to order Smith Newtons through the Government Services Administration (GSA) schedule; a list of approved suppliers to Federal government agencies. Smith Electric will deliver the trucks to Camp Pendleton, Calif., the Corps’ largest West Coast training facility, and home of the First Marine Expeditionary Force.

"We’re proud to be part of the Marine Corps’ efforts to create a cleaner environment and improve energy efficiency at Camp Pendleton," said Bryan Hansel, President and CEO of Smith Electric. "The Marines are setting a strong example for the other branches of our armed services as we all work together to address America’s energy and efficiency concerns."

A September report by the Center for a New American Security recommended in the interest of financial and security concerns that America’s armed forces set a goal of operating all of its systems on non-petroleum fuels by 2040. The Marine Corps has already set out to reduce it energy use 30 percent by 2015 and increase its reliance on renewable electrical energy to 25 percent by 2025.

Smith Electric produces the Newton, which is the only medium duty (class 4-7) all-electric commercial truck on the GSA schedule. The trucks will be built in Smith Electric’s Kansas City, Mo., plant, and are scheduled for delivery to Camp Pendleton in February 2011.

The Newton delivers a top speed of 55 mph (88km/h) and offers end users battery ranges from 50 to 120 miles (80km-192km) on a single charge, ideal for urban deliveries, utilities and personnel transport applications. Smith vehicles are powered by the latest in Lithium-ion battery cell technology, power management and direct drive trains. They produce zero emissions and are virtually silent.

The Marine Corps is the first military organisation to incorporate Smith Newtons into its fleet. In doing so, it joins some of North America’s largest fleet operators, including Frito-Lay, Staples, Coke, AT&T and PG&E, which have already purchased all-electric Newtons to replace diesel trucks on urban routes.

Smith Electric Vehicles US Acquires UK Parent

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. finalized purchase of its United Kingdom-based parent company, Smith Electric Vehicles (U.K.), creating the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial electric vehicles.

"Being in a position to unify Smith’s divisions after less than two years of operating in the United States is evidence that the market for affordable, sustainable commercial fleets is fertile," said Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric U.S. "Unification of Smith Electric Vehicles will create operational efficiencies and market synergies that will make Smith more financially sound and productive."

The $15-million sale will be effective January 1, 2011. Smith U.K.’s current owner, the Tanfield Group, will retain 49% equity in Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. This percentage is subject to dilution as Smith raises additional equity capital.

Smith U.K. has been a leading manufacturer of zero-emissions battery-electric commercial vehicles in Europe since the 1920s. It operates a U.K.-wide service and support network that maintains more than 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators.