Electric Vehicle Manufacturer Moves to New Flagship Factory

Smith Electric Vehicles - Europe's Largest Commercial Electric Vehicle Manufacturer - is to open a new, 250,000sq ft production facility later this year.


EUROPE's largest commercial electric vehicle manufacturer is moving to a flagship assembly facility, in a move that will create at least 400 jobs.

Smith Electric Vehicles is establishing a production line at vigo250, a 250,000sq ft factory near Newcastle upon Tyne.

The Tanfield Group Plc, which owns Smith Electric Vehicles, has taken a long term lease on the building and its 15 acre site.

Darren Kell, business development director of The Tanfield Group Plc, said: "This is a superb facility that will give Smith the space it needs for our next phase of growth.

"We have invested significantly in developing new technology electric vehicles and are confident that there remains a huge, untapped market for the manufacturer that gets it right.

"The commercial vehicle sector sets incredibly high standards in terms of build quality and we are confident that our new production facility will help us achieve and exceed those benchmarks."

Smith launched its first new electric vehicle, the Faraday, last year.
Faraday incorporates new battery and power train technology, boosting performance way above the staid speed and low range of milk floats and other EVs powered by lead acid batteries.

Faraday has a top speed of up to 50mph, a range of up to 120 miles between battery charges and a payload of up to 4,000kg. It has a fast charge facility that replaces 80 per cent of the battery power in less than an hour.

Almost the entire vehicle is recyclable. And because it is zero emission, Faraday qualifies for a free Road Fund Licence (tax disc) and is exempt from the London Congestion Charge. It also does not require an Operator's Licence, or an annual MoT.

Kevin Harkin, business development manager for Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "Faraday really broke the mould in terms of electric vehicle performance.
"We have taken that core technology and adapted it for a range of commercial vehicles, which we will launch later this year."

Smith has already sold vehicles to supermarket giant Sainsbury's for home shopping delivery; plus chilled food distributor Petit Forestier; and facilities management company Enterprise Plc.

Smith Electric Vehicles is the world's oldest surviving electric vehicle manufacturer. Based in North East England, it has been building zero emission commercial vehicles since 1920.

Smith has developed the UK's only nationwide service network, with more than 120 mobile engineers based in 11 depots across Britain. They already maintain more than 5,000 vehicles.

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