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PHOTO CAPTION: Smith Electric delivery van in Staples livery.

Gov't Subsidies Needed for Smith Electric Trucks

Smith Electric’s blue-chip customers praise the company for putting a serious product on the road and taking care of problems when they emerge.

Published: 11-Jun-2012

Sam Swearngin is a big fan of alternative-fuel vehicles, but he’s recovering from sticker shock after buying an electric truck.

The fleet manager for Kansas City’s municipal government was in the market for a bucket truck similar to what electric utilities use to lift workers to fix power lines. A diesel bucket truck would have cost $132,000. One that used natural gas was priced at $182,000.

The price of the electric truck bought from Smith Electric Vehicles of Kansas City was $330,000 — $198,000 more than the diesel version. Swearngin got a federal grant to cover the difference but is reluctant to buy another one until there’s a big price drop.

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