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Smith EV plots big fleet push

Date: 05 May 2011   |   Author:

Smith Electric Vehicles is now looking to take on fleet deals of 50-100 units rather than individual vehicle sales, as the firm develops into the next phase of its existence.

"We're not in the business of selling one unit here and there, we're looking at major fleet operators; ones and twos are a waste of time for us," said Smith European boss Geoff Allison speaking at the Commercial Vehicle Show. He said the firm has had a period of companies taking on one vehicle to see how Evy fit into their company, and the task now is to turn those early pioneers into serious volume. "We're now looking at people ordering 50-100. We've now got experience. The product is proven and ready to go to market in the UK in fleets."

Smith has now accumulated four million miles of data of EV operation in the UK, and has recently improved the payload on its Ford Transit-based vehicle by 37% to end thoughts of payload as a reason to choose diesel over electric.

"There's no question now we're at the watershed in terms of adoption," said Allison. "We're now confident we can deliver against a diesel over 24 or 36 months - our range, technology and overall experience is better." He claimed that the payback period for electric vehicles versus cheaper conventional diesel models is now around three years at 20,000 miles per year, and that fuel price rises will only enhance the case for electric vehicles.

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