Smith Electric Vehicles report increasing demand for zero emission trucks

The demand for trucks powered only by electricity is expanding, according to electric truck builder Smith Electric Vehicles. The company, which has truck assembly facilities in Newcastle in the UK and Kansas City in the US, has sold over 700 of its Newton and Edison models and their vehicles are said to have accumulated over 8,000,000 km on the road.

Brisbane Truck Show saw the introduction of the Smith Electric concept to the Australian market last month. The company has said there has been considerable interest in the new vehicles from the large transport organisations in this country. National corporations see the need to advance their green credentials and see a zero emission truck as a way of enhancing their offering to the customers at the same time as protecting the environment.

Smith Electric said the adoption rate of commercial electric vehicles by major global blue-chip corporations continues to expand. They point to the recognition of the significant economic and environmental benefits of shorthaul fleet electrification as the reason for the growing demand to move fleets across to the new technology. The type of applications chosen by the operators are those in which a truck works on a fixed route, travelling less than 150 km each day and is based in a centralised depot.

Considerable savings in running costs are claimed by the Smith Electric. They said their customers save an estimated 70% annually on fuel and maintenance during the life of the vehicle, as well as reducing emissions to emissions to zero.

“We do not think in terms of the truck, we think in terms of full end to end fleet transformation and all its associated benefits,” said Bryan Hansel, Smith Electric CEO. “This delivers substantial economic and commercial benefits for our customers and helps drive the growing demand for a product. With these important milestones achieved, Smith will be positioned to be fully into commercial scale manufacturing and enable electric fleet transformations around the world. Most importantly, we have first mover advantage in a fast global market for a full fleet transformation. We look forward to the future with confidence.”

According to Smith Electric, they are targeting shorthaul urban transport around the world. There are 6 million medium duty trucks in a $40 billion a year market across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The company has said a significant portion could be converted to electrification, and this is the vehicle market segment they will be targeting.

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