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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jan 26, 2013 3:04 PM Flag

    Smith Electric Vehicles will build big electric trucks in Chicago

    Smith Electric Vehicles will build big electric trucks in Chicago

    By Jon LeSage
    Posted Dec 4th 2012 4:11PM

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Smith Electric Vehicles are working together to create an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Chicago. Smith Electric Vehicles was drawn to the city by the mayor's voucher system designed to accelerate conversion from diesel to zero-emission electric vehicles, a large number of fleets that are interested in going electric and development incentives offered to Smith. Smith is saying it will create "hundreds of direct and indirect jobs" there.

    The Chicago Department of Transportation has a $15-million incentive program set up to encourage companies to modernize their fleets, converting some to electric power. The initial $15 million for this program is funded by resources from the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program. It provides vouchers to assist companies in reducing their conversion costs. Through its program and similar federal incentive programs, Chicago has helped deploy 404 cleaner vehicles, mainly compressed natural gas vehicles, along with 202 electric vehicle charging stations. Chicago has been committed for a while to bringing electrified vehicles and a charging infrastructure to the area.

    Mayor Emanuel says the Smith partnership is a smart way to create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and to boost the already rapidly growing battery and electric vehicle sector in the city. As former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, Emanuel was involved in pushing for policies that integrated job creation with environmental concerns and energy security.

    This will be the third US city where Smith has locations set up, including its headquarters in Kansas City, MO, and a manufacturing facility in New York City. Smith has been looking for ways to grow its capital investments and audience. Not long ago, the company was looking to go public on the Nasdaq exchange, but has canceled that plan. New owners bought the decades-old company from its UK-based parent company in 2011.

    Smith has done an impressive job of breaking into the electrified fleet market. Customers include Frito-Lay, FedEx, Staples, TNT, Sainsbury's, Coca-Cola, DHL and the US military. In addition to the deal with the city of Chicago, Smith announced that FedEx Express is adding 100 Smith vehicles in the US, Europe and Asia, and that Coca-Cola's pilot deployment of Smith vehicles has been successful enough that additional EVs will be purchased in 2013.


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    • Testa Produce Adds Electric Trucks To Delivery Fleet

      LEED® Platinum Distributor Continues to Raise the Bar on Sustainability

      By Testa Produce

      Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 7:09 am

      CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2013 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Testa Produce has added two new trucks to its delivery fleet, both of which operate solely on electricity. Custom-made for Testa by Smith Electric Vehicles, Kansas City, Mo., (chassis) and Kidron, Washington, N.C. (insulated body), the trucks have zero emissions and travel up to 100 miles without recharging. Testa plans to use them for deliveries to customers in its downtown Chicago market.

      Adding electric delivery vehicles is in line with Testa Produce's commitment to continually raise the bar on sustainability. The company is the first perishable food distributor in the nation to earn LEED® platinum, the highest certification available from the U.S. Green Building Council, for its award-winning state-of-the-art "green" distribution center. The facility incorporates energy-saving solar, wind and water technologies. Testa's existing 60+ delivery trucks run on bio-diesel fuel and all company cars are hybrids. In the coming months, Testa Produce will also add 10 trucks to its fleet that operate on compressed natural gas, an alternative fuel that's safer and more eco-friendly than traditional fossil fuels.

      "The new electric trucks will help us diversify our fleet, give us added flexibility and reduce our carbon footprint even more," says Stephanie Testa, distribution manager. "We're excited to get them on the road."

      Peter Testa, president, adds that finding innovative eco-friendly solutions in every aspect of the business is an ongoing company goal. "Distribution is an energy- and resource-intensive business but we've made it our mission to do things differently and to set a new standard for our industry. Electric vehicle technology has advanced to the point where it's now possible for us to begin making zero-emission deliveries to our Chicago customers. It's a logical next step for us."

      About Testa Produce: Founded in 1912, Testa Produce, Inc. is Chicago's premier independent produce distributor. In addition to a broad line of domestic, local, organic, sustainable, and imported fresh produce items, the company delivers frozen, canned, and specialty foods to fine restaurants, hotels, and institutions throughout Illinois and much of Wisconsin. Testa is a member of both PRO*ACT, the foodservice industry's largest produce buying and marketing organization, and Legacy Foodservice Alliance. In 2012, the company became the first food distributor in the nation to earn U.S. Green Building Council LEED® Platinum certification, the highest level available. Testa is also a founding participant in Greener Fields Together, an industry-wide sustainability and local produce initiative launched in October of 2012.

      Editors: High resolution photo available upon request.


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