CHICAGO - Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. (SEV U.S. Corp.), a Delaware corporation, temporarily headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., announced 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.

"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 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 2010 production.

Derrick Kuzak, For''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."