Posted on November 28, 2012
Smith Electric Vehicles has announced that it will open an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Chicago. The U.K. company is a global manufacturer of all-electric commercial vehicles used in food & beverage, utility, telecommunications, retail, grocery, parcel and postal delivery, school transportation, military and government. Smith’s customers include many of the world’s largest fleet operators, including PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, FedEx, Staples, TNT, Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola, DHL and the U.S. military.
Chicago will be Smith’s third location in the United States, joining its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and a manufacturing facility in New York City. Smith said it is currently considering locations for its manufacturing facility in conjunction with city officials. The company expects to begin hiring efforts immediately and announce this new location when the incentive and development packages tied to the site are complete.
Additionally, the Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) has announced a $15 million incentive program to encourage companies and individuals to modernize their fleets and convert to electric vehicles. The program’s initial $15 million is funded by resources from the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) program and will provide vouchers to assist companies in reducing the costs of converting their vehicles to electric.