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USA/China: Smith Electric Signs Deal To Bring Commerical Electric Vehicles to China

Smith Electric Vehicles and China’s biggest automotive components manufacturer are entering into a joint venture to manufacture commercial electric vehicles (EVs) in China.

Wanxiang will take a $25 million equity stake in Smith Electric and invest up to $75 million in their joint venture to develop, manufacture and commercialize electric school buses and commercial vehicles for multiple industries in China.

Under the Smith brand, these vehicles will combine Wanxiang’s EV componentry technologies with Smith’s proprietary platform vehicle designs, including its Smith DriveTM and Smith PowerTM systems.

Smith produces electric vehicles (EVs) for commercial uses – vans, buses and trucks – for companies and municipalities. It sold 320 vehicles last year and says it has written letters of interest for 2200 vehicles.

It recently unveiled the first first electric school bus and is designing the largest fleet of commercial electric trucks in North America for Frito-Lay, while doing a pilot with Duane Reade, NYC’s largest drug store chain.

Smith has filed for IPO, hoping to raise $125 million. It raised $58 million in equity funding in 2011, one of the larger funding rounds in cleantech.
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