BIRMINGHAM, UK – On April 15, Smith Electric Vehicles launched Ampere, its latest zero emission vehicle, at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham NEC. Ampere is based on the Ford Transit Connect chassis and has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 2,340kg, with payload capacity of up to 800kg.
The Ampere is capable of a top speed of 70 mph and a range in excess of 100 miles on one battery charge. It is powered by a 50kW motor and an under-slung lithium-ion battery pack, which means the power source does not impact on the vehicle body's cubic carrying capacity.
Ampere is the first pure electric vehicle (EV) in its class to offer these performance specifications. It is aimed at urban operators using large fleets of light vans, in sectors such as postal & courier, utilities, and telecommunications.
As a pure electric vehicle, Ampere is exempt from the London Congestion Charge and qualifies for a free Road Fund License (road tax disc) in the United Kingdom. EVs are also exempt from a great deal of the road pricing and congestion charging used by other nations.
Ampere joins Edison and Newton in the Smith product range. Both Edison and Newton have a top speed of 50 mph and a range on one battery charge in excess of 100 miles. They are also powered by Iron Phosphate lithium-ion battery packs. Newton is an electric truck, offered in GVWs from 7,500kg to 12,000kg. Based on the Ford Transit chassis, Edison is an electric van with a GVW of under 3,500kg.
Smith also unveiled a new version of its Edison pure electric van. The company launched an improved Edison with a leading edge Iron Phosphate lithium-ion battery pack, along with significant improvements to the vehicle's interior console. Edison, built using the Ford Transit chassis, was launched at last year's CV Show and went into volume production with a Sodium Nickel Chloride battery pack, which provides a top speed of up to 50mph and a range on one charge in excess of 100 miles.
The first of these Smith EVs was unveiled at the Commercial Vehicle Show as the Faraday mark II, a pure electric truck using the Ford F650 chassis cab, with a GVW of up to 13,000kg. The vehicle is expected to have similar specifications to the Smith Newton pure electric truck that is sold in the United Kingdom and Europe. Newton is available in GVWs from 7,500kg to 12,000kg and has a top speed of 50mph, with a range in excess of 100 miles on one battery charge.
Smith expects to commence U.S. manufacture of the first of this product in the second half of 2008.
Smith Electric Vehicles also used the CV Show to launch a new version of its Newton truck, powered by a leading edge Iron Phosphate lithium-ion battery pack. Unlike the incumbent Sodium Nickel Chloride battery, used since Newton launched in 2006, the lithium-ion battery also does not require heat charging and is more robust, offering a longer life and making it more receptive to fast charging.