Original post date: June 22, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO – Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S.), a Delaware corporation headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., and Birmingham, Ala.-based Altec Industries Inc. unveiled America's first all-electric utility truck with an aerial device June 22 at the Electric Utility Fleet Managers Conference in Williamsburg, Va.

The truck is a battery, all-electric Smith Newton produced by SEV U.S. and SEV U.K. with an aerial bucket integrated by Altec Industries Inc., a provider of products and services to the electric utility, telecommunications, and contractor markets.

The first test unit will be added to Pacific Gas and Electric Company's (PG&E) 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 U.S. 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.

"We are excited to be working with PG&E and Altec on this effort to help the utility industry accelerate the reduction of fuel emissions with the introduction of electric-drive fleet vehicles," said Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer SEV U.S.

"PG&E is committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations and helping to improve air quality in the communities we serve," said Dave Meisel, director of transportation services for PG&E. "We hope our involvement will lead to the accelerated development and mainstream acceptance of electric vehicles in our industry."

The Smith Newton is the world's largest battery-electric-powered truck. It is fuel-emissions-free, runs without noise or vibration, and actually stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it for acceleration. The truck has a top speed of up to 50 mph, a range on one battery charge 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, with a maximum height of 37.8 feet and reach of 28.3 feet.

"Having this truck in service in PG&E's fleet is part of a much larger developmental program to evaluate all-electric fleet vehicle applications for the utility industry," said Hansel. "Utilities have a huge role to play in helping lead the electrification of vehicles in the U.S."

SEV U.S. is initially focusing its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery and service fleets. The trucks will be assembled at the company's 80,000 square foot plant in Kansas City.

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

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

Smith Newton Truck Specifications:

Motor: 120 kw Induction Motor.

Battery: Lithium-Ion Batteries Payload - 7,392 lbs. to 16,280 lbs.

Gross Vehicle Weight: 16,535 lbs.; 23,148 lbs.; or 26,455 lbs.

Range: In excess of 100 miles (one battery charge).

Top Speed: 50 mph.

On-board Battery Charger.

Full Battery Recharge: 6 to 8 hours.