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Smith Electric Vehicles, Altec and PG&E Partner on All-Electric Utility Truck

Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation (SEVUS) and Altec Industries Inc. have developed an all-electric utility truck with an aerial device. The truck is a battery-powered, all-electric Smith Newton produced by SEV US and SEV UK with an aerial bucket integrated by Altec Industries Inc. The partners inroduced the prototype at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference in Williamsburg, Va.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will add the first test unit to its fleet to conduct routine and emergency overhead line work in PG&E’s northern and central California service area. PG&E will provide test data to SEV US and Altec for the creation of a production model. This unit is the first all-electric aerial utility truck to be put into operation by a major utility company before being brought to the market.

The Smith Newton is the world’s largest battery-electric-powered truck. Equipped with a 120 kW induction motor and a Li-ion battery pack, it has a top speed of up to 50 mph, a range in excess of 100 miles and a payload of up to 16,280 lbs. The Altec component, an AT37-G aerial boom, is a telescopic articulating device used for electric utility line maintenance and installation. The aerial has a maximum height of 37.8 feet and reach of 28.3 feet.

SEV US is initially focusing its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery and service fleets. Full battery recharge requires 6-8 hours. The trucks will be assembled at the company’s 80,000 square foot plant in Kansas City.

SEV US says it has already received a strong expression of interest from fleet operators and as a result, the company is building a highly scalable assembly operation and supply chain to serve this emerging market. SEV US will begin production using chassis from multiple vehicle manufacturers.

In collaboration with the Ford Motor Company, SEV US will upfit Ford chassis to deliver Ford’s first electrified vehicle for the North American market. Using proprietary technologies transferred from the Tanfield Group Plc, SEVUS will assemble and manufacture the Transit Connect as a BEV (battery electric vehicle) light-duty van scheduled for production in 2010. (Earlier post.)


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