CHICAGO (CBS) – Smith Electric Vehicles is coming to Chicago and the mayor says it’ll mean jobs.
“Smith will start with somewhere close to 100 jobs and with the potential of the orders coming, grow to about 200 jobs,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
To sell those trucks, a voucher program backed by federal funds will cover about 60 percent of the up charge that comes with buying an electric vehicle. giving our trucks a price advantage over those built at Smith’s other two plants.
“The reality of an electric truck is you pre-buy a bunch of fuel. The battery is expensive, it makes the upfront acquisition price higher but the operating costs are 70 percent less on a per mile basis,” said Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric.
Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay and FedEx use Smith Trucks. The 100 percent electric truck can charge up overnight and take a driver through his whole route, over an 8-hour day. The route in the city isn’t that long.
“30, 40, 50 miles is very typical for route delivery in a market market like this,” said Hansel.
Going electric has been a great move for FedEx.
“It’s better for the environment, and of course, we’re not dependent on foreign oil when we’re using our own electricity,” said Dennis Beal, VP of Global Vehicles for FedEx.
Smith Electric is considering several Chicago sites.