WALTHAM, MA – A123 Systems, which makes advanced Nanophosphate lithium-ion batteries and systems, announced a production agreement with Smith Electric Vehicles to supply battery modules for Smith's portfolio of zero-emission all-electric commercial vehicles.

A123 expects to begin shipping its 5kWh automotive-class prismatic modules to Smith for integration into battery packs in the second half of 2011.

"We selected A123 Systems as a strategic supplier of lithium ion battery technology because it offers cost-competitive, high-quality solutions that meet the performance, safety and life requirements for our electric vehicles," said Bryan Hansel, president and CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. "The highly scalable, building-block design of A123's modules also enables us to build customized battery packs to meet individual customers' range specifications.”

According to Smith Electric Vehicles, A123's battery technology will be first implemented in the Smith Newton truck, an all-electric, 7.5 ton (16,535 GVWR)–15 ton (33,000 GVWR) vehicle that has been commercialized globally. Smith's customers include Frito-Lay (a division of PepsiCo), Staples, Coca-Cola, Sainsbury's and Dairy Crest, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps.

The Smith Newton delivers a top speed of 55 mph, offers battery ranges from 50 to 120 miles on a single charge, and a payload of more than 16,000 pounds. The truck operates at peak effectiveness in urban applications that demand heavy stop-and-go driving. A Smith Newton can run more than 100 miles on a single charge.

Smith began production of the truck at its Kansas City assembly plant in October 2009.