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ACT Expo 2015

Smith Is Back: With Chinese Backing

May 15, 2015 by ShowTimes in ACT Expo 2015 with 0 Comments
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.

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 this week of a $35 million joint venture with Hong Kong 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 tells ShowTimes.

Smith’s customers include Coca-Cola, FedEx Express, Staples and Frito-Lay, Smith’s largest customer, whose 88-kilowatt-hour 2012 Smith Newton is on display here in Booth 1155. It’s one of 265 Smiths in the company’s national fleet, says Mike O’Connell, Frito-Lay senior director of fleet operations.

“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 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 says. The trucks will be assembled in Kansas City.

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