FedEx To Deploy Smith Electric Step Van

It’s been a good few months for Kansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles. The company has secured sales of its all-electric trucks to Frito-Lay in Boston, to Coca-Cola in New York (where a brand-new manufacturing facility is being built) and even partnered with Trans Tech for a green school bus. Adding to the list of big name brands, Smith Electric Vehicles has announced that FedEx will employee a fleet of the company’s Newton Step Vans.

News of the fleet was released during the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, a fitting location as the Newton Step Van features a walk-in body that is produced by Indiana-based Utilimaster, a company that has also partnered with hybrid system company Azure Dynamics, which also provides green delivery vehicles.

Smith Electric Vehicles, fedex

image via Smith Electric Vehicles

FedEx has been greening its fleet over the last year, claiming to add more than 4,000 new fuel-efficient vehicles to its roster. Not all of those new vehicles are all-electric, but a report from MIT earlier this year suggested that electric vehicles can be a significant way to save on costs over diesel delivery trucks in urban areas. Currently, FedEx already uses Smith’s smaller model, the Edison panel van.

“This opportunity helps support our goal to optimize and operate our vehicle fleet in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner,” Dennis Beal, vice president of Global Vehicles at FedEx Express, said in a statement. “Smith’s global footprint and track record of successful EV deployments make it an ideal collaborator as FedEx continues to improve its fleet efficiency, reducing emissions while providing the best possible service to our customers around the world.”

Although Smith Electric Vehicles has a manufacturing base in Kansas City—with that facility coming soon to New York, as well—the company got its start servicing electric vehicles in England, where it still has a plant outside Newcastle.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.