Smith Electric Vehicles, the UK-based maker of the Edison and Newton electric urban delivery vehicles (earlier post), is investing an initial US$30 million to launch its range of battery-powered commercial vehicles in the United States.
The investment will fund a factory in North America for the production of US-specific versions of the Edison and Newton. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2008.
The company said that it is already receiving an average of 25 enquiries per week about the two electric vehicles from major fleet operators in the USA.
We intend to capitalise on this enormous latent interest by establishing an initial facility that can build in excess of 1,000 vehicles per year, followed by a purpose built facility for 2009 with installed capacity of up to 5,000 units pa. for North America.
We are confident that this will replicate the success enjoyed by our new technology electric vehicles in Europe. The USA will almost undoubtedly be the single biggest market in the world for urban electric vans and trucks, representing our largest sales opportunity.—SEV Newsletter