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Smith Electric Vehicles will build big electric trucks in Chicago

Dec 4th 2012 4:11 PM EST

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Smith Electric Vehicles are working together to create an electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Chicago. Smith Electric Vehicles was drawn to the city by the mayor's voucher system designed to accelerate conversion from diesel to zero-emission electric vehicles, a large number of fleets that are interested in going electric and development incentives offered to Smith. Smith is saying it will create "hundreds of direct and indirect jobs" there.

The Chicago Department of Transportation has a $15-million incentive program set up to encourage companies to modernize their fleets, converting some to electric power. The initial $15 million for this program is funded by resources from the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program. It provides vouchers to assist companies in reducing their conversion costs. Through its program and similar federal incentive programs, Chicago has helped deploy 404 cleaner vehicles, mainly compressed natural gas vehicles, along with 202 electric vehicle charging stations. Chicago has been committed for a while to bringing electrified vehicles and a charging infrastructure to the area.

Mayor Emanuel says the Smith partnership is a smart way to create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and to boost the already rapidly growing battery and electric vehicle sector in the city. As former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, Emanuel was involved in pushing for policies that integrated job creation with environmental concerns and energy security.

This will be the third US city where Smith has locations set up, including its headquarters in Kansas City, MO, and a manufacturing facility in New York City. Smith has been looking for ways to grow its capital investments and audience. Not long ago, the company was looking to go public on the Nasdaq exchange, but has canceled that
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Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Manufacturing/Plants, Legislation and Policy
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