Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. instalará una fábrica de camiones eléctricos en Kansas

La ciudad de Kansas ha sido elegida por un consorcio británico-estadounidense para una planta de montaje, que empleará a 200 personas, para fabricar furgonetas y camiones ligeros eléctricos.

El anuncio formal se hará hoy por parte de la empresa, Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. (SEV), en el aeropuerto internacional de Kansas, en cuyas inmediaciones se situará la nueva fábrica.

La fábrica empezará a funcionar dentro de tres años, tras una inversión de 5 millones de dólares.

La instalación se localizará en la dirección 12200 NW Ambassador Drive, la sede anterior de Farmland Industries, adquirida por la ciudad en 2006, y en un taller aeronáutico en 9200 NW 112th St., según los datos ofrecidos por las autoridades del estado.

El camión se construirá en colaboración con Ford Motor Co.

El vehículo, que funciona con baterías, se llamará Smith Newton, y se describe como “el mayor camión eléctrico del mundo”, según SEV, con una autonomía de 160 kilómetros, una velocidad máxima de 80 kilómetros y un coste de unos 20.000 euros.

Las baterías son de iones de litio y tardan en recargarse de 6 a 8 horas.

“Nuestros clientes son empresas que trabajan en áreas urbanas, y distribuyen bienes y servicios cuidando del medio ambiente. Nuestro vehículo de cero emisiones es ideal para evitar la contaminación", dijo el director de la empresa SEV.

Numerosas empresas de correos y distribución como TNT ya se han interesado por el vehículo.

SEV U.S. Corp. es un joint venture de inversores estadounidenses y The Tanfield Group Plc, con sede en el Reino Unido.
KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 27 — The city of Kansas City issued the following news release:

The City of Kansas City, Mo., Aviation Department announced at a news conference today that Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. will assemble zero-emission all-electric trucks in a reverted portion of the American Airlines overhaul base. SEV U.S. Corp. will use 80,000 square feet of a reverted 280,000-square-foot building formerly used for maintenance and overhaul of aircraft engines, and plans to employ 120 workers by 2010. Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp has developed a highly scalable assembly operation and supply chain to serve the emerging market for urban fleet operators seeking to deliver their goods and services in an environmentally sensitive manner. "This marks another major milestone in the City’s ongoing strategy to enhance Kansas City International Airport’s status as a major regional center for manufacturing, intermodal shipping and commercial development," City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen said. "The types of green collar jobs this development brings are consistent with the city’s goal to promote sustainability and position the city as an attractive option for the emerging eco-friendly industry." Last year, site preparation work began on Phase I of the 800-acre KCI Intermodal BusinessCentre, a multi-use development that is being managed by Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. When completed, Phase I will offer infrastructure to support approximately seven buildings offering nearly 2.7 million square feet of commercial space suitable for intermodal distribution and logistics as well as light manufacturing. Phase II calls for extension of infrastructure to a contiguous 400 acres with frontage along two runways at KCI, making this area well suited for the development of air cargo facilities, manufacturing and assembly and commercial distribution space. "Four years ago, the Aviation Department embarked on an ambitious plan to replace open fields and empty spaces with light industry and intermodal freight-forwarding facilities to attract greater numbers of well-paying jobs to the area," said Mark VanLoh, director of the Aviation Department. "We have invested nearly $40 million for non-aeronautical economic development activity and we are seeing that investment pay off in the form of new partners such as Smith Electric Vehicles. We proudly welcome them to KCI." In 2007, the Aviation Department acquired the Ambassador Building (formerly the world headquarters of Farmland Industries), which offers 260,000 square feet of Class A office space located on a 23-acre campus adjacent to KCI. Smith Electric Vehicles will occupy 10,000 square feet of office space in the Ambassador Building, which is also home to Wire Rope Corp. of America, which moved its headquarters to Kansas City from St. Joseph, Mo. KCI contributes $5.5 billion to the area economy annually and provides more than 60,000 jobs. The Kansas City Airport System is an Enterprise Fund Department of the City of Kansas City, Mo., and is supported wholly by airport user charges. No general tax fund revenues are used for the administration, promotion, operation, or maintenance of the airports in the system. Visit for more information. For more information, contact Joe McBride, Aviation Department, (816) 243-3164.
Zero-Emission Trucks to Be Assembled in Kansas City
Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation bringing new jobs and investment to metro area Fortune 500 companies sign up as first customers KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 27 /PRNewswire/ — Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S. Corp), a Delaware corporation headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., announced today its plan to assemble all-electric zero-emission commercial vehicles in Kansas City. The new assembly plant will be located at a portion of an airline overhaul base at Kansas City International (KCI) Airport and is expected to create 120 jobs by 2010. Production of the first zero-emission commercial trucks is scheduled to begin third quarter of 2009.

SEV U.S. Corp will initially focus its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery fleets.

"We feel the greatest opportunity to have a major impact on the electric vehicle industry is through fleet operators who utilize commercial vehicles in a depot-based delivery model," said Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer SEV U.S. Corp. "As more truck fleets adopt this technology, it will drive advancements in battery technology, drive down manufacturing costs, and form the foundation of a U.S.-based supply chain that, over time will also significantly reduce the cost of commercial electric vehicles. This will make them a natural choice for fleet managers with a depot-based delivery model."

The SEV U.S. Corp decision to locate the plant in Kansas City represents an initial investment of $10 million in the metro area. The KCI overhaul base was selected for the new assembly plant because of its open configuration and immediate availability. The assembly plant will occupy 80,000 square feet at the overhaul base at start-up and will scale up based on demand. SEV U.S. Corp is also leasing 8,600 square feet of office space at the Ambassador Building at KCI. The company will receive close to $3 million in job training funds and other incentives from the state of Missouri and Kansas City.

The Kansas City Area Development Council facilitated the site selection process and notes that the SEV U.S. Corp decision emphasizes the Kansas City region as a player in the evolving world of advanced energy and transportation.

SEV U.S. Corp 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 U.S. Corp will begin production using chassis from multiple vehicle manufacturers.

Canteen Vending Services, a national vending company and an operating division of the Compass Group North America based in Charlotte N.C., has already signed a letter of intent with SEV U.S. Corp to purchase some of the first zero-emission vehicles to roll off the assembly line.

Lord Mandelson in the Driving Seat of World’s First Electric Light Van
Smith Electric Vehicles. Zero Emission Vehicles

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson today underlined his commitment to low carbon vehicles as he took the driving seat in the world’s first high-performance electric light van.

Produced in the UK, the Smith Ampere houses the latest electric vehicle technology in the familiar framework of the Ford Transit Connect van. The 50 kilowatt electric motor and 28 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion batteries combine to deliver a top speed of 70mph (113kph) and a range of 100 miles (160km) on a single charge.

Darren Kell, Chief Executive of The Tanfield Group Plc, which owns Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "Lord Mandelson is determined that the UK will become the world leader in low carbon vehicle technologies, so it was pleasing to show him that Smith Electric Vehicles is already a world leader in electric vans and trucks.

"We have a market-leading advantage and a great opportunity before us. With the appropriate Government support, we could transform this exciting opportunity into a UK-based industry."

The Smith Ampere can be fully recharged in less than six hours. It is designed for urban operations ranging from utilities and highways maintenance to mail and parcel delivery.

Smith is Ford of Europe’s official collaborator for electric vans and also produces the Edison, a battery-electric version of the Ford Transit. In 2010, Smith will launch a battery-electric Ford Transit Connect for sale in North America. This will be the first vehicle to deliver on Ford’s new electrification strategy for the USA.

Joe Greenwell, Chairman of Ford of Britain, who joined Lord Mandelson on his visit, said: "The UK’s market-leading Ford Transit van is available today as a zero emissions model thanks to Smiths’ expertise. Together we are shaping the commercial vehicles of tomorrow.

"The Smith Transit line-up shows how effective two market leaders can be in making zero emissions a reality. We look forward to this development gaining momentum, creating green alternatives for British businesses and supporting the low-carbon economy."

Rt Hon Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform, experienced the vehicle first hand in a visit to the Smith Electric Vehicles 250,000sq ft (23,000sq m) production facility in Washington, Tyne & Wear.

Lord Mandelson said: "For over 80 years, Smith Electric Vehicles has successfully adapted to the future. I congratulate the company on their partnership with Ford, which will export British low carbon technology to the United States and secure British jobs in Sunderland".

Manufacturing Innovation

The Tanfield Group Plc is a progressive, innovative manufacturing company which operates in two of the world’s most exciting growth markets – zero emission electric vehicles and aerial work platforms.

The company operates two highly successful divisions: Zero Emission Vehicles and Powered Access; ably supported by Tanfield’s superb engineering resource.

Smith is the world’s largest manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles and its product portfolio of zero emission trucks and vans is breaking new ground.

UpRight and Snorkel manufacture a common portfolio of electric and diesel-powered aerial lifts, with each servicing different geographical markets.

Tanfield’s strong management team is executing a strategy to become a world leader in both zero emission vehicles and aerial work platforms, with shrewd business acquisitions and innovation driving excellent organic growth.