Canadian Vending

Zero-Emission Trucks to Be Assembled in Kansas City

April 1, 2009
By Canadian Vending

April 1, 2009 – Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S. Corp), a Delaware
corporation headquartered in Kansas City, has announced its plan
to assemble all-electric zero-emission commercial vehicles in Kansas

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S. Corp), a Delaware corporation headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., has announced its plan to assemble all-electric zero-emission commercial vehicles in Kansas City. The new assembly plant will be located at a portion of an airline overhaul base at Kansas City International (KCI) Airport and is expected to create 120 jobs by 2010. Production of the first zero-emission commercial trucks is scheduled to begin third quarter of 2009.

SEV U.S. Corp will initially focus its production on battery-electric-powered vehicles for depot-based predictable-route delivery fleets.

"We feel the greatest opportunity to have a major impact on the electric vehicle industry is through fleet operators who utilize commercial vehicles in a depot-based delivery model," said Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer SEV U.S. Corp. "As more truck fleets adopt this technology, it will drive advancements in battery technology, drive down manufacturing costs, and form the foundation of a U.S.-based supply chain that, over time will also significantly reduce the cost of commercial electric vehicles. This will make them a natural choice for fleet managers with a depot-based delivery model."


The SEV U.S. Corp decision to locate the plant in Kansas City represents an initial investment of $10 million in the metro area. The KCI overhaul base was selected for the new assembly plant because of its open configuration and immediate availability. The assembly plant will occupy 80,000 square feet at the overhaul base at start-up and will scale up based on demand. SEV U.S. Corp is also leasing 8,600 square feet of office space at the Ambassador Building at KCI. The company will receive close to $3 million in job training funds and other incentives from the state of Missouri and Kansas City.

The Kansas City Area Development Council facilitated the site selection process and notes that the SEV U.S. Corp decision emphasizes the Kansas City region as a player in the evolving world of advanced energy and transportation.

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. SEV U.S. Corp will begin production using chassis from multiple vehicle manufacturers.

Canteen Vending Services, a national vending company and an operating division of the Compass Group North America based in Charlotte N.C., has already signed a letter of intent with SEV U.S. Corp to purchase some of the first zero-emission vehicles to roll off the assembly line.

Compass Group's Tim Goff, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives said, "Canteen has been proactively seeking, testing and evaluating vehicles with the latest in fuel efficiency and clean technology for adoption into our fleet specs. Smith Electric Vehicles is the first to provide a zero emissions vehicle that fits our route delivery model. As a key U.S. launch customer, Canteen is delighted to support SEV U.S. Corp and to lead the vending industry in reducing carbon output."

Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo that is headquartered in Plano, Texas, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., have also signed on as launch partners.

Through its U.K. partner, 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, Global Product Development, said, "We are pleased to be collaborating with SEV U.S. Corp on the first of the battery electric vehicles we will bring to market over the next several years. With the delivery of the battery electric Transit Connect, together we will be delivering a product that will satisfy the needs of fleet customers interested in moving toward electric mobility solutions."

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, the leading 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.

"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's first zero-emission truck model will be the Smith Newton – the world's largest battery-electric-powered truck. It has a top speed of up to 50 mph, a range on one battery charge in excess of 100 miles and a payload of up to 16,280 lbs. SEV U.S. Corp will utilize the Enova P120 drive system for the Newton, a proven solution currently being used by Smith in Europe. The selection of Torrance, Calif., based Enova Systems, Inc.'s P120 drive system aligns with SEV U.S. Corp's core strategy to build a strong U.S.-based supply chain.

In addition to its partnership agreement with Ford on the Transit Connect, SEV U.S. Corp will expand its zero-emission product line to include other van and light truck models based on demand.

Smith Newton Truck Specifications:
Motor – 120 kw Induction Motor
Battery – Lithium-Ion Batteries
Payload – 7,392 lbs to 16,280 lbs
Gross Vehicle Weight – 16,535 lbs, 23,148 lbs or 26,455 lbs
Range – In excess of 100 miles (one battery charge)
Top Speed – 50 mph
On-board Battery Charger
Full Battery Recharge – 6 to 8 hours

About Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation:
Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation (SEV U.S. Corp) (, a Delaware corporation, is an all-electric zero-emissions commercial truck manufacturer. The company licenses its proprietary technology from Smith Electric Vehicles U.K., the world's largest manufacturer and industry leader of commercial electric vehicles.  SEV U.S. Corp is a privately held company owned by U.S. investors and the Tanfield Group Plc, based in the United Kingdom. SEV U.S. Corp produces the Smith Newton – the world's largest battery-electric powered truck, and has a partnership agreement with Ford Motor Company to electrify its new battery electric vehicle, the Ford Transit Connect, scheduled for production in 2010.

About Ford Motor Company:
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 213,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's wholly owned brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company  provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit .

About Tanfield Group Plc:
The Tanfield Group Plc is the world's leading developer and manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles and aerial work platforms. Tanfield is headquartered in Washington, Tyne & Wear, with operations in Europe, Scandinavia, North America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa. It has two main divisions:

Smith Electric Vehicles was founded in 1920 and acquired by Tanfield in October 2004. Following its acquisition, Smith is developing into a world leader in new technology electric vans and trucks with greatly enhanced performance, speed and range capabilities. This makes them attractive for all fleet operators in large towns, cities and closed industrial environments. For the first time, these fleet operators have economically viable, zero emission alternatives to using diesel vans and trucks. Smith has an unrivalled UK-wide service and support network, which already maintains over 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators.

Powered Access contains two of the world's most established aerial work platform brands, UpRight Powered Access and Snorkel International. UpRight is the UK's biggest manufacturer of self-propelled aerial work platforms (also known as "cherry-pickers", "mobile elevating work platforms", "aerial lifts", etc). UpRight has assembly facilities in the UK and USA, with products sold through a strong network of over 200 independent, full-service distributors across Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Snorkel, acquired in August 2007, has significant manufacturing capabilities along with strong sales and distribution, in North America and Australia. Tanfield has successfully extended its powered access product range and is now one of only three "full line" aerial lift manufacturers to have a significant global footprint in both the North America and EMEA regions, in what is a $7bn market.

About Canteen Vending Services: Canteen Vending Services is the only national vending company and is an operating sector of Compass Group North America. Serving over five million customers every day through 18,500 client sites, Canteen's 80 year legacy of innovation continues to redefine the vending experience with the latest in convenience retailing. Based in Charlotte NC, Compass Group North America is the leading foodservice and support services company with more than $9 billion in revenues in 2008. With 388,000 associates worldwide, its parent company, UK-based Compass Group PLC had revenues of pounds Sterling 11 billion in the year to September 30, 2008.

About Enova Systems Inc.: Enova Systems ( is a leading supplier of efficient, environmentally friendly digital power components and systems products. The Company's core competencies are focused on the development and commercialization of power management and conversion systems for mobile applications. Enova applies unique 'enabling technologies' in the areas of alternative energy  propulsion systems for light and heavy-duty vehicles as well as power conditioning and management systems for distributed generation systems. The Company develops, designs and produces non-invasive drive systems and related components for electric, hybrid-electric, and fuel cell powered vehicles in both the new and retrofit vehicle sales market. For further information, contact Enova Systems directly, or visit its website at .

Additional Information:

This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to Enova Systems and its products that are intended to be covered by the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believe," "expect," "may," "will," "should," could," project,"  "plan," "seek," "intend," or "anticipate" or the negative thereof or comparable terminology and statements about industry trends and Enova's future performance, operations and products. These forward-looking statements are subject to and qualified by certain risks and uncertainties. These and other risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in Enova Systems' periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to Enova's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007.