Auto Manufacturing Returns to NYC
Smith Electric announced earlier this week that it will complete an electric truck factory in the Brooklyn borough of New York City by mid-2012. Once, New York City was a hub of auto manufacturing, but the rise of Detroit saw most automakers relocate their facilities to the Midwest. This facility will not only bring vehicle manufacturing back to NYC, but will allow Smith Electric to build and sell their electric transport trucks locally. New York City is a perfect place for the all-electric truck maker, which currently sells vehicles to companies like Frito Lay, who make lots of very-local deliveries in the NYC area.
The facility, when completed, will be able to build about 100 trucks per month. The proximity of the facility to a major metro area will also reduce delivery costs. Smith’s only other American production facility is located in Kansas City, Missouri, equally far from major metro areas on America’s coast. Smith Electric already has contracts with a number of big companies including the aforementioned Frito Lay, Coca-Cola, and Duanne Reade, a large NYC-area drug store that is conducting a pilot test to electrify its fleets. Even the U.S. Marine Corps is interested in Smith’s EV’s.
This news came out just as Smith announced its IPO. It will trade under the ticket abbreviation SMTH. While the company still operates at a loss, there is obviously huge potential in an electric vehicle fleet solution, and this new factory proves to me at least that there is a lot of faith in Smith’s business model. And in addition to its two trucks, the Edision and larger Newton, which offers up to150 miles of range, Smith Electric also recently unveiled an all-electric school bus that would be great for NYC’s school system.