Smith Electric Vehicles Launches First Zero Emission Truck and Van for Mainland Europe

Smith Electric Vehicles, the world's leading manufacturer of zero emission vans and trucks, launches its first Left Hand Drive models for the Continent.


Rotterdam, 21 August 2007

SMITH Electric Vehicles, the world's leading manufacturer of zero emission electric delivery vehicles, today launched its first vehicles for mainland Europe.

Smith, which is based in North East England, unveiled left hand drive versions of its two leading products, the Newton all-electric truck and Edison electric van. The vehicles were purchased by TNT, for trials in Rotterdam, Holland, with a view to rolling out Smith vehicles across TNT's European fleet, where appropriate.

Kevin Harkin, Sales Director of Smith Electric Vehicles, said: "We are delighted to be TNT's preferred supplier for commercial electric delivery vehicles.

"Our electric vehicles are not only zero emission at the point of use, helping to reduce urban air pollution, but they are also much cheaper to operate than conventional diesel-powered trucks and vans.

"We are confident that our electric vehicles can bring operational benefits to TNT and play a key role in the Rotterdam Climate Initiative.

"These trials are our first step into mainland Europe but there is an enormous untapped market for commercial electric vehicles on the Continent and we expect further orders to follow."

Both new technology vehicles are powered by state of the art sodium nickel chloride batteries and a powerful electric motor - 90 kilowatts for the Edison and 120kw for the Newton.

The Edison vehicle is a 3,500kg van housed in the Ford Transit body shell. It has a long wheelbase and high roof for carrying capacity. This three-battery model has a top speed of 50mph, a range of up 150 miles on one battery charge and a payload of 880kg.

It will operate in and around the centre of Rotterdam, making an average of 40 stops per day for collection and delivery o! f documents and small parcels.

The 9t Newton truck will operate in the same area, but making 15 to 20 stops per day. Powered by six batteries, it has a payload of 3,000kg; a top speed of 50mph and a range on one charge of up to 130 miles.

Peter Bakker, CEO of TNT, said: "We are very aware of the impact of our operations on the environment and recognise that we contribute to the problem of climate change. Hence, we feel it's our responsibility to contribute to a viable long-term solution.

"Protecting the environment also makes business sense, as our stakeholders are increasingly evaluating us on our environmental impact. TNT foresees electric vehicles will become a key component for future super-urbanized inner city pick up and delivery networks as more and more restrictions are imposed on emissions in urbanized areas."

TNT will run the vehicles on electricity from a 100% renewable source, meaning that the vehicles leave no carbon footprint from emissions.

Electric vehicles are more cost effective than diesel vans or trucks, when taken over the average commercial vehicle's five-year life span. This is largely due to low "fuel" costs as electricity costs a fraction of diesel. The maintenance costs are also significantly lower - the electric vehicle only has four moving parts, compared to over 1,000 in a diesel vehicle's drive train.

The Mayor of the city of Rotterdam and chairman of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative, Ivo Opstelten, said: "This is an excellent example of how innovative entrepreneurship combines environmental profit with economic profit.

"The Rotterdam Climate Initiative offers support to this type of pilots and a platform to test their business cases. We are proud that TNT chose to team up with us and welcome them as our latest business partner."

About Smith Electric Vehicles
Smith Electric Vehicles is the world's largest manufact! urer of road-going commercial electric vehicles and is at the forefront of an exciting new green industry. Smith was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, in 1920. It produced electric trolleybuses for cities across Great Britain and also for export to Commonwealth countries. From the late 1940s, Smith became one of the biggest manufacturers of dairy delivery vehicles, or "milk floats". With the decline of the milk float in the 1970s, Smith diversified into other road-going electric vehicles and was a pioneer in producing zero emission trucks and vans, both in the UK and the USA. The Tanfield Group Plc acquired SEV Group Ltd, owner of the Smith brand & IP, in October 2004.

Following the acquisition, Smith has achieved significant success:

Launch of range of new technology battery-powered vehicles, with greatly improved speed and range capabilities

Sales of vehicles to high profile customers including TNT Express UK, CEVA Logistics, Balfour Beatty, Sainsbury's Online, Marks & Spencer, DHL, Royal Mail, The Co-operative Group and Enterprise Plc.

Now positioned as the world's number one provider of commercial, road-going electric vehicles.

Established new 250,000sq ft UK manufacturing facility, including paint plant, three 90-metre assembly lines and a dedicated R&D Centre.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Dan Jenkins Smith Electric Vehicles
+44 (0) 845 1557 755

For sales enquiries, please contact:

Sylvia Bryden, Smith Electric Vehicles
+44 (0) 845 1557 755

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