Smith Electric Vehicles An American EV Success Story

For electric vehicles to truly succeed, they will need to gain traction in not just consumer markets but also other sectors such as commercial hauling. Smith Electric Vehicles seems to be one of those having good luck in this space, recently announcing it has a large fleet of its trucks in use now across a range of customers.

Smith Electric Vehicles said specifically it has now produced more than 700 of its all-electric Edison and Newton trucks and that, collectively, those on the roads have cumulatively generated over five million miles. Different configurations of these two trucks exist, depending upon the needs of the particular customer. At maximum configuration specifications, the Edison can hold a maximum payload of 5,100 pounds while driving a range of up to 110 miles, while the larger Newton has a payload capacity up to 16,200 pounds and a maximum range of 150 miles.

image via Smith Electric Trucks

image via Smith Electric Trucks

Both vehicles are produced at facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and Newcastle, U.K., though most of the parts are manufactured in Malaysia. The Newton targets uses in markets such as food/beverage, parcel delivery, utility, maintenance and military transport, while the Edison is envisioned in areas like refrigerated delivery, utility boom and shuttle service. It is said the millions of miles driven in these offerings “have resulted in significant environmental benefits including the offsetting of an estimated 700,000 gallons of fuel, and eliminating more than 10,000 short tons of greenhouse gases.”

For costs to the customers of Smith Electric, the company said its clients, which include major corporations such as DHL, Coca-Cola and Frito-Lay,  have saved

an estimated 70% annually on fuel and maintenance during the life of the vehicle and eliminated all vehicle-based emissions. Across a large fleet this can mean millions of dollars in annual operational savings, hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel offset, and sparing the air of tens of thousands of tons of greenhouse gases.

“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, chief executive officer of Smith Electric, in a statement. “This delivers substantial economic and commercial benefits for our customers and helps drive the growing demand for our product. With these important milestones achieved, Smith will be positioned to move fully into commercial scale manufacturing and enable electric fleet transformations around the world.”

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.


  • Reply June 20, 2013

    Jan Latusek

    The range limitations of electric vehicles are not an issue in the transport segment that Smith has chosen to target – depot-based delivery fleets. All over the world there are postal and food delivery fleets that operate within 20-30miles of bases to which they return every night. This is a truly huge market. School buses and local shuttle buses also operate in this way, and Smith produce these too. If they can obtain sufficient funding from investors, they can capture an even bigger slice of this growing market for cleaner transport. I wish them well.

  • Reply June 23, 2013


    Great application for EVs. UPS, Fedex and hopefully eventually USPS local delivery vehicles will be electrified as well.

    That truck will bottom out pretty easily though

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