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Miles Electric Vehicles Debuts Low-Speed All-Electric Truck

The ZX40ST.

Miles Electric Vehicles, importers of low-speed all-electric cars and trucks manufactured in China (earlier post), unveiled its new all-electric ZX40ST truck today at the FedFleet Exposition in Orlando, where Miles Electric Vehicles representatives will be taking pre-orders in advance of the truck’s planned October ’07 delivery.

Powered by a 72-volt AGM lead-acid battery system, the truck provides 60-70 miles per charge (at an 18.6 mp constant speed) and more than 500 pounds of cargo capacity. The 6.3 kW (17.6 kW peak) motor generates 120 Nm (88.2 lb-ft) of torque.

It’s a perfect low-speed light-duty work truck for fleets looking to cut costs and emissions. Several of our fleet customers have asked us to provide a truck model.

—David Hirsch, Miles Electric Vehicles Co-Founder

Current Miles Electric Vehicles fleet customers include NASA, the US Navy and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, in addition to Stanford, UCLA, and California State Polytechnic University.

A typical organization will save $15,000-$18,000 in lifetime fuel costs for each gas-powered fleet vehicle it replaces with the ZX40ST, based on 5 years of use (100,000 – 125,000 miles) and a gasoline cost estimate of $4/gallon over the next 5 years, according to Miles.

For each gas-powered truck that’s retired in favor of a ZX40ST, organizations can reduce their overall fleet tailpipe emissions by more than 12,000 pounds per year.

Miles plans to introduce a highway-speed all-electric vehicle to the US market in 2008.



let's buy america


$4.00 gas price comparison? Why not just make it $10? Then there would be a real comparison. Don't fleets get better rates for fuel since they buy in bulk? Few places are paying $4/gallon. Despite this, it's still good to see more EV's on the road. I would have liked to see it go a little faster. Range is good.


D..oh! 18.6mp?


This sort of vehicle is used in low speed applications, usually on some large facility like an airport, warehouse, etc., where either because of environmental considerations (airports), maintenance and fuel costs, and/or operation inside of enclosed areas (factories, warehouses) where they need or want to avoid exhaust gas or noise emissions of combustion engines.



Their cost saving assumptions are off ("based on five years of use 100k-125k miles). You think these little low-speed trucks are going to run up 20 to 25k miles per year scooting around a base or campus? In reality, it will be a fraction of that.

It's a good idea for other reasons, but that oassumption isn't going to be convincing.


I'm all for EVs, but this may qualify as a punishment vehicle. Lead-Acid is a joke (heavy, low energy density, poor cycle life) and from my experience autoparts built by Chinese companies are highly suspect in the quality department.


It bothers me when EV vs. ICE vehicle cost comparisons conveniently omit the price of replacement batteries. Unfortunately, I've seen several small EV companies doing this.

At a generous cycle life of 400 charges & 65 miles per cycle, the vehicle will go through 5 (five!) battery packs over 125,000 miles. That's a serious expense to omit from a cost comparison.

Deceptive marketing isn't going to win converts to the use of EV's where they're suitable. (I'm not bashing EV's - I own one.)

John Latusek

US lagging way behind the UK, where SmithEV ( ) have 7.5ton and 9ton all-electric vans in production and on the road - with a 12ton version going on sale in the USA this year.

John Latusek

- And the Piaggio Porter - looking very much the same as the new Miles ZX40ST - has been on sale and in use around London and across Europe for a couple of years..


The Smith EV trucks look great for small, compact cities like they have in the UK, or Boston, San Fran, and perhaps a few others here.

LA, Atlanta, San Diego? Doubt it.

Still, I'm glad to see some real progress on this.

John Latusek

I agree with you Cervus. Smith I guess have plenty of compact cities to go for worldwide in the first few years, helping to establish the concept - and might reasonably expect that greater distances will be achievable 4-5 years down the line when battery development has moved in their favour.

Meanwhile I applaud the way Miles Automotive, Phoenix, Vectrix and others are helping achieve momentum in whatever areas they can.


I was in Jinan China last month and surprised to see about 30% of the commuters riding rechargeable electric scooters in the bicycle lanes. Looked like LiIon battery packs. There must be millions of them being produced. A friend said they cost about $200.


from problems with the cathodes "furring " up . this battery can do in excess of
250,000 miles in a vehicle , and I have on good authority could be made in quantity
(100000 units) for as little as $ 4000 for a 25kwh unit . Its available now and seems
to be almost 100% reliable , this is why Smiths are using it .


sorry about that seem to have lost half of my previous post

I will read it again ,
I can not understand the use of lead acid in this truck , The Smiths
commercial vehicles a using the Zebra cell which has been known to have a life in
excess of 250, 000 mile in such a vehicle , the battery has little precious metal ,
consisting almost entirely of salt, does not suffer from "furring up" of the cathodes
and could be made for $4000 for a 25kwh pack ( I have this on good authority, with
a prodution run of 100000 Units )
Unfortunatly there seems to be only one company making them
Mes Dea in switzerland , and the "bread and butter" business for this company
comes from suppling the european auto manufacturers with ancillary parts for
cars , so maybe there is a little conflict of intrest stopping the ramping up of prodution
This battery seems to be near 100% reliable this is why Smiths Industries
are using them in their vehicles


Yeah, lead acid is heavy, but a lot of its drawbacks matter less on a "low speed vehicle" (that is a regulated term, not just a handy descriptor). Keep in mind that these are almost interchangeable with golf carts used on campuses, military bases, etc. and are not broadly street-legal. They are exempt from a lot of the regs applied to street-legal (normal speed) vehicles just because they are slow. They don't commute, they don't go on road trips, they don't need high power. They need a cheap battery that yes, will require replacement once in its life cycle, but there are already established channels for recycling them and the replacements are just as cheap.

AGM batteries are worth about 6 US cents/pound at my local scrap yard... so you even get a little bit back for your battery pack to use to pay for the new one. Given the world of golf carts, I'm just happy they chose AGM over gel cells.


And I'm betting that these AGM batteries will be commodity-type batteries, not some model-specific battery that will cost a ton to replace.

The biggest AGMs I'm aware of in common channels are a 12 volt, 92 Ah unit that retails for about $200 each (plus shipping). They state 72 volts, hmm. My wild hunch says you may find six of those in one of these vehicles. That makes for a battery pack replacement cost of around $1500, plus labor (and replacing batteries is simple).

Then I spot this PDF where Miles is stating a cost assumption for battery replacement at $1440. Hmm, seems to corroborate my hunch.

Those interested in the silly operating cost assumptions the press release contained should take a look at that PDF... they do some more reasonable numbers and show how they're arriving at their results.

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