The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation to receive $32 million in grant funding toward the production of all-electric, zero emissions commercial trucks. Smith’s original DOE grant of $10 million announced on 5 August 2009 has been increased by $22 million./p>
The DOE grant will be used to help offset the company’s future vehicle development costs and to incentivize Smith’s customers to participate in a commercial electric vehicle demonstration program. The demonstration program will gather data on vehicles placed in service in different regions of the country and in a broad range of applications. Participating customers will receive a subsidy from the program for allowing their vehicles to be part of the demonstration fleet.
Smith’s Kansas City assembly plant and corporate office currently employ approximately 50 people. The company anticipates employment to reach more than 100 by the end of the year.
In February, Smith announced plans to expand production to up to 20 regional assembly plants across the country. This de-centralized assembly strategy will provide Smith’s customers with comprehensive local factory-based service and support. Smith will continue expansion in Kansas City at the company’s corporate headquarters staff, through its research and development group and the assembly plant team.
Smith US is 49%-owned by The Tanfield Group Plc, based in Washington, Tyne & Wear. Tanfield also wholly owns Smith Electric Vehicles in the UK. Smith US recently tendered an offer to buy the Smith UK division from Tanfield.