Kansas City, Missouri – President Obama came to Kansas City to thank workers and executives of Smith Electric Vehicles for helping stimulate the economy with the production of electric trucks.
Smith Electric has received $32 million in stimulus funds in the form of grants from the Department of Energy.
The President said the intent of the stimulus programs was not to create another layer of government, but to help companies like Smith Electric grow. CEO Bryan Hansel said Smith will add 50 jobs by the end of the year and has plans to add 20 production facilities around the country.
Smith Electric Vehicles has sold trucks to corporate clients such as Frito Lay, Coca-Cola, and A.T.and T. The companies have set routes, and know how long they will be out. This predictability allows them to accommodate the 100 mile range of battery operated vehicles.
On the day the Obama administration went to federal court to argue in favor of banning off shore drilling, the President also said much of the stimulus money promoted green jobs and a sustainable environment.
The president struck a much more defensive tone than he has in the past, certainly a nod to precarious mid-term elections many Democrats face in November.
President Obama left the plant for 2 fundraisers for Democratic Senatorial candidate, Robin Carnahan.