CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Smith Electric Vehicles announced Nov. 28 that Smith will open an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Chicago, influenced by the Mayor’s innovative voucher system created to accelerate the conversion from diesel to zero-emission, all-electric commercial vehicles; the large number of fleets interested in vehicle electrification; and the development incentives made available to Smith.
“I’m proud to welcome another growing company with a great mission to Chicago. Soon hundreds of Chicagoans will be able to put their skills to use providing businesses worldwide with high-quality, zero-emission, American-made vehicles,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Smith Electric Vehicles is an innovative company in a forward-looking, essential industry that is a central part of Chicago’s economic future.”
Smith is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of all-electric commercial vehicles. The company produces trucks for multiple industries, including food and beverage, utility, telecommunications, retail, grocery, parcel and postal delivery, school transportation, military, and government. Smith’s customers include many of the world’s largest fleet operators, including PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, FedEx, Staples, TNT, Sainsbury’s, Coca-Cola, DHL, and the U.S. Military.
Chicago will be Smith’s third location in the United States, joining their headquarters in Kansas City, Mo., and a manufacturing facility in New York City.
Additionally, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), under the Mayor’s leadership, has announced a comprehensive, $15 million incentive program that will encourage companies and individuals to modernize their fleets and convert to electric vehicles.
“A mass urban deployment of commercial electric vehicles is an important next step in catalyzing mainstream adoption,” said Smith CEO Bryan Hansel. “Chicago’s location, commitment to adoption in municipal fleets, concentration of commercial vehicles, talented workforce, and importance to the global business community make it a perfect choice to grow our company and this industry. The leadership being shown with the mayor’s CDOT voucher program is a prime example of how Chicago is creating the template for a new energy city.”
Smith Electric Vehicles is currently considering locations for its manufacturing facility in conjunction with City officials. The company expects to begin hiring efforts immediately and announce this new location when the incentive and development packages tied to the site are complete.