Four major US corporations and two utility companies have taken delivery of the Smith Newton, a road-going electric truck developed by north east England based Smith Electric Vehicles.
Coca-Cola, Staples, Frito-Lay, AT&T, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) are the first Newton customers in the US.
Powered by Lithium-ion batteries and a 120kW electric motor, the Smith Newton has a top speed of 50mph (80km) and a range in excess of 100 miles (160km) on a full charge. It can be recharged in six hours.
Newton, launched in the UK by Smith Electric Vehicles in 2006, is produced in North America by Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation, based in Kansas City, Missouri. Three models are produced with gross vehicle weights of 7,500kg, 10,000kg and 12,000kg.
Smith Electric Vehicles was founded in the north east in the 1920s and is now part of the Tanfield Group, based in Washington, Tyne & Wear.
The company, in partnership with One North East, recently won government funding to develop an electric taxi, people carrier and minibus and is one of three preferred suppliers for electric vans in the Department for Transport’s Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme.