Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S. Corp), a Delaware corporation temporarily headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., announced today its plan to assemble and market all-electric zero-emission commercial vehicles in North America. SEV U.S. Corp will initially focus its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based route delivery fleets.

SEV U.S. Corp 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. The company will soon announce a site for its production facility. SEV U.S. Corp will begin production using chassis from multiple vehicle manufacturers.

SEV U.S. Corp is a privately held company and is owned by U.S. investors and The Tanfield Group Plc, based in the United Kingdom. Tanfield is also the parent company of Smith Electric Vehicles, a manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric commercial vehicles in Europe since the 1920s. Smith has produced the Newton truck in Europe for more than three years and has sold vehicles to major fleet operators in sectors such as mail and parcel delivery, logistics, retail, highway maintenance and airports.

"We are targeting our zero-emission trucks for companies that operate in urban areas and are seeking ways to deliver their goods and services in an environmentally sensitive manner," said Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer SEV U.S. Corp. "These vehicles will not only help companies reduce their truck fleet emissions and reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports, but will also lower operation and maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle."

Through The Tanfield Group Plc, SEV U.S. Corp is working with Ford Motor Company to electrify the Ford Transit Connect as a BEV (battery electric vehicle) light-duty van scheduled for production in 2010.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president, Product Development, said: "Our collaboration with SEV U.S. Corp will result in the first battery-electric vehicle in Ford's North American electrification strategy. We know a growing number of our fleet clients have expressed interest in electrification as a sustainable mobility solution. Offering a family of electrified vehicles is a next logical step for us in our product portfolio."

"Smith Electric Vehicles' zero-emission vans and trucks are proven products that have a long history of reliability in Europe," said Hansel. "We are bringing Smith's proprietary know-how to the U.S. to integrate electric power trains, lithium ion battery packs and control systems into commercial truck chassis envelopes that meet the specific requirements of the North American fleet market."

SEV U.S. Corp will host a media reception at the National Truck and Equipment Association's (NTEA) Work Truck Show at Chicago's McCormick Place on Wednesday, Mar. 4 from 7:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at its show booth (#5611) in the Green Truck Pavilion. SEV U.S. Corp company officers and engineers will be available to answer questions. A light breakfast will be served.

To schedule a Green Truck Ride & Drive or for additional information concerning the enclosed press release, please contact:

Sheila Dressman
Eidson & Partners, Inc.
T: 800.711.0747
M: 816.591.1059