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Smith Newton electric truck set for debut

The Newton is based on a D-Series chassis and body, produced by Czech truck brand Avia.

The Smith Newton will be previewed at the Brisbane Truck Show this Thursday. Smith trucks will present its Newton electric medium duty model, which produces zero exhaust pipe emissions at the show before it goes on sale locally in November.

Electric trucks are sold in growing numbers in several overseas markets, especially the US, where federal government grants have helped several niche operators set-up manufacturing businesses.

The Smith truck will be targeted at government fleets and councils, as well as corporate customers keen on projecting an environmentally friendly image.

The company is claiming the truck can run for as much as 240km before requiring a recharge, but that is dependent on the type of conditions and load. It says it takes eight hours to recharge the lithium ion batteries.

Smith will offer the truck with GVMs of 7500kg, 10,000kg and 12,000kg ratings, which equals the weight of the truck and the load it can carry.

The Newton is based on a D-Series chassis and body, produced by Czech truck brand Avia, which is owned by India’s Ashok Leyland. Avia will import the Smith Newton and also launch its D-Series truck, running a regular Cummins diesel engine, in Australia at the same time.

It is not clear how much demand there will be for the electric Smith truck in Australia. Two brands currently offer diesel-electric hybrid trucks locally, with Hino selling a 300 Series hybrid and Mitsubishi Fuso offering a hybrid version of its Canter.

Despite demonstrating clear efficiency advantages over regular trucks, neither model has sold in significant numbers thanks largely to higher prices. The Brisbane Truck Show runs from May 16 to 19 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.