Automotive

First Smith EV Newton Step Vans to be deployed by FedEx Express

First Smith EV Newton Step Van...
FedEx Express will be the first company in the U.S. to deploy the Newton Step Van, an electric delivery van developed by Smith Electric Vehicles and Utilimaster
FedEx Express will be the first company in the U.S. to deploy the Newton Step Van, an electric delivery van developed by Smith Electric Vehicles and Utilimaster
View 1 Image
FedEx Express will be the first company in the U.S. to deploy the Newton Step Van, an electric delivery van developed by Smith Electric Vehicles and Utilimaster
1/1
FedEx Express will be the first company in the U.S. to deploy the Newton Step Van, an electric delivery van developed by Smith Electric Vehicles and Utilimaster

Smith Electric Vehicles has announced the start of production of a new electric walk-in delivery van developed in collaboration with Indiana-based Utilimaster. Incorporating Smith's proprietary drive and control, battery management and remote system monitoring technologies, the zero-emission Newton Step Van is said to offer a range of around 100 miles (160 km) on a single charge of its Lithium-ion batteries. The first company to deploy the new vehicle in the U.S. will be FedEx Express, the world's largest express transportation company.

Based on Smith's Newton chassis platform and featuring an integrated walk-in van design courtesy of Utilimaster (a subsidiary of Spartan Motors), the Newton Step Van is available in gross vehicle weight configurations of between 14,000 pounds and 26,000 pounds (6,350 - 11,793 kg), with between 650 to 1,200 cubic feet (18.4 - 33.9 cubic meters) of cargo capacity and up to 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg) of payload.

The vehicle features the company's Smith Drive, a 134kW/180bhp brushless, permanent magnet electric motor delivering 650Nm of torque and a vector-controlled AC system with regenerative braking. There's an onboard charger, and battery management is taken care of by Smith Power technology, a system that's said to be capable of using batteries of varying sizes from different manufacturers, although Smith's current preferred partners are Valence and A123. The built-in Smith Link system enables vital vehicle information to be monitored and transmitted to a central server via GPRS. Power-assisted steering and ABS brakes also feature.

Smith EV - whose customers include the U.S. Marine Corps, Staples, TNT and Coca-Cola - says that the new vehicle will be deployed in select U.S. markets during the coming year. Businesses opting for electric vehicles like the Newton Step Van could well find that they start to pay for themselves in a relatively short time. A recent study by researchers at MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics suggests that businesses choosing electric vehicles for city deliveries save between nine and 12 percent in operational costs compared to those using trucks powered by diesel engines.

Sources: Smith Electric Vehicles, Utilimaster, MIT

14 comments
Slowburn
Just wait until the batteries lose half their capacity and start self destructing.
sinan
Non non, just wait until those combustion monsters stop poisoning us ! (..and the rest) btw, "self destructing batteries" is the first time I hear that...
VoiceofReason
Ok...dumb question time....why isn't the roof covered in solar panels? That's a pretty large area.
Colin Foss
"self destructing"? Hmm you mean gasoline is not destructive? haha
Slowburn
Try googling exploding laptops.
Slowburn
Gasoline needs an oxidizer.
Hugh Shipman
Odd--we didn't have exploding batteries in the 1990s when GM mainstreamed production of the all-electric EV1 which ultimately achieved 250 miles per charge before it was mysteriously removed from the market.
britons
REGARDING THE EV1 ... NOT ONLY 250 MI. / CHARGE ON THE BATTERIES , BUT , IN TESTING , IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE LIFE OF THE BATTERIES WAS EQUAL TO 30-35,000 MILES BEFORE A REPLACEMENT WAS NECESSARY .
Slowburn
The batteries on the EV1 were lead-acid batteries or nickel metal hydride (NiMH) not Lithium-ion.
There is no mystery to why GM killed the EV1. The government of California changed the law that had made the EV1 marginally economically viable. The crystal ball gazers did not see any signs that a cost effective battery was on the way. Plus supporting such a small fleet of vehicles is not cost effective.
Brian Hall
Voice; The area is far too small. The cost of installation would be recovered in about 500 years.
slowburn; laptops have little or no heat management capability. Check out the TeslaMotors.com site for info on automotive applications.