Smith Electric Vehicles forms joint venture in Taiwan

Posted on 22 Aug 2013

Newcastle-based electric van manufacturer establishes manufacturing assembly, distribution and service hub in Taiwan.

Smith Electric Vehicles, Europe’s leading manufacturer of all-electric medium duty commercial vehicles, has signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with a company in Taiwan to make its electric vans.

Smith Electric and Taikang Technology Corporation will enter into a licensing agreement, which will cover the assembly and distribution of all-electric vehicles in Taiwan, opening up an important new market for Smith Electric.

The vehicles will be Smith Electric branded and the joint venture will help Smith Electric to strengthen and further build its global manufacturing presence. The JV’s first three years of production is anchored by a 5,000 vehicle commitment, including transformation of a significant portion of the country’s municipal garbage truck fleet.

The initial trucks will be Newton and Edison model vehicles configured for garbage pick-up and transport. Smith Electric will have the sole sourcing and procurement rights for its proprietary Smith Drive, Smith Power and Smith Link components.

The JV agreement will include building a new manufacturing plant in Taiwan, which will create a number of new jobs over time.

Taikang Technology Corporation, a commercial vehicle manufacturer in Taiwan, is a good fit for the Newcasltle company, with 25-years of automotive manufacturing experience and experience in upgrading specialised municipal commercial vehicles.

On Thursday, executives from both companies participated in a signing event at the ninth annual Taiwan Automotive International Forum & Exhibition, that included Mr. Lin Chun Nung, chief of technical services from the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs.

“This is another milestone for Smith,” said Bryan Hansel, chief executive officer of Smith Electric. “With this letter of intent, we are eager to complete our first ever licensee agreement for the Company. Smith Electric plans more licensee agreements to support its long-term global growth strategy to meet growing demand for fleet transformation through electrification around the world.”

Taikang Technology Corporation has been working closely with several Taiwanese government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, on transforming its fleet of refuse trucks to all-electric.