Kansas City-based electric truck manufacturer Smith Electic built a fleet of delivery trucks that have been proven on the mean streets of New York City.
Traveling up to 70 miles a day without needing a charge, the trucks use regenerative braking and other technology to keep the flow of goods moving in the world's busiest economic hub.
Better yet, Smith may be building more of its trucks at a plant in the Bronx in the not-too-distant future, creating about 100 jobs there. When's the last time you heard about anything that big happening in the Bronx?
The stop and go driving that would be bad for a diesel or gas powered truck works out for the electric rigs, which use the kinetic energy from braking and decelerating to recharge the batteries. A flatter, lighter battery pack makes for better ground clearance than with the bulkier ones of past years, and the trucks also lack the noisy clatter diesel trucks emit when they're idling in the street as a delivery is made.
Some of the trucks even have "Hey, relax, I'm not the one making noise down here" printed on the roof. Anyone who's ever been woken up at 5 a.m. by a delivery truck can appreciate that.
Frito Lay, Pepsi, and NYC's ubiquitous Duane Reade drugstore chain have been among the companies using the fleet of 24-foot-long electric trucks in New York City. Smith is also working on a school bus model.
For all the problems we've seen with electric vehicles, it's good to see an instance where they actually work well. But regardless of the trucks' success, this has to be the first time in my life that stop and go driving has been deemed good. Onward and upward!
Photo credit: Smith Electric