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fedex-smith EV

Smith Electric Has Suspended EV Truck Production

fedex-smith EVKansas City-based Smith Electric Vehicles has suspended production and assembly operations of its EV trucks.

The electric vehicle manufacturer quietly stopped production last year due to a shortage of cash—a move that was disclosed in report for the last quarter of 2013 filed with the US Department of Energy, reported the Kansas City Star.

CEO Bryan Hansel told the Kansas Business Journal that the closure is temporary and there are plans to resume global operations by the middle of the summer.

Hansel described the temporary closure as a strategic move made because the business was not profitable. The company plans to transition its manufacturing and assembly process and reorganize its supply chain to produce a larger volume electrics, Hansel told the Kansas City Business Journal.

The company will be ready to produce hundreds, if not thousands, of electric vehicles once production resumes, Hansel told the Kansas City Business Journal.

Smith, which received a $32 million grant from the DOE, has designed electric trucks for FedEx, GUTSI, Sainbury’s, Staples, US Army and Frito Lay.

Under a $3 million project funded by the DOE, Plug Power is developing hydrogen fuel cell range extenders for 20 FedEx Express electric delivery trucks produced by Smith. The fuel cell technology company says this will allow FedEx Express to nearly double the amount of territory the vehicles can cover with one charge, increasing delivery fleet efficiency more than 50 percent coupled with a 35 to 40 percent decrease in fuel expenses, when compared to diesel trucks.

As of last June, Smith had produced more than 700 all-electric Edison and Newton trucks, which cumulatively generated more than 5 million miles on the road. In all, the vehicles offset an estimated 700,000 gallons of fuel and eliminated more than 10,000 short tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

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