KCUR News
9:03 pm
Wed March 31, 2010

Electric Vehicle Company Hopes To Expand With DOE Dollars

Kansas City, Mo. – The Department of Energy has awarded the Smith Electric Vehicle Company in Kansas City another significant grant to continue research and development of electric delivery trucks.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill got a tour of the Smith Electric Plant yesterday from executives and workers, after announcing DOE would add $22 million to the $10 million it had already given Smith.

The company manufactures delivery trucks, with electric engines.

McCaskill said the DOE liked the public-private partnership in the Smith Electric proposal. The grant Smith submitted to DOE proposed federal dollars would reimburse customers for gathering data about how they use their electric vehicles, with the intent of increasing sales.

Senator McCaskill said innovative programs will encourage other companies to try electric technology: "So having the data having been gathered in a scientific way and available in objective format is the way you spread the sale of this type of vehicle."

Some of Smith's customers include Frito Lay, Coca Cola, and Staples office supply.

The company currently employs 50 people in Kansas City. Officials said yesterday they hope to add 100 jobs by the end of the year.

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