Kansas City, Mo. – A company that has been making electric trucks in England since 1919 launches an assembly operation at KCI. Missouri gives it a $2 million sendoff. Smith Electric Vehicles agrees to create 120 new jobs, 90 percent on the assembly line. Governor Jay Nixon expects the venture to explode in success. He offers two point one million dollars in tax incentives and job training. In the governor's words, 'These are important tools that a governor needs to be competitive against states around this country that want what we got today'.
Smith Electric will receive state credits only after it creates jobs and hires. Parts for the assembly line will come from Turkey and Czechoslovakia and from U.S. Ford motor truck plants. Batteries will come from a Lees Summit company. The governor test drove one of the cargo trucks manufactured by Smith. The only sound from the van was a hiss of hydraulics, and nothing more. The company claims the commercial trucks are eighty percent more economical to operate than diesel or gasoline.