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Smith Electric Vehicles partners with Duane Reade to bring EV delivery trucks to NY

Posted: September 19, 2011 - 8:01PM
Author: Don Bain
Smith Electric Vehicles will add Newton zero-emission, all-electric commercial trucks to the Duane Reade delivery fleet In an effort to improve fuel efficiency standards and lower carbon dioxide emissions as part of a partnership announced today.


With the addition of these medium-duty trucks, Duane Reade will be the first retail pharmacy in the U.S. to choose fleet electrification through a pilot program with the leading provider of zero-emission, all-electric commercial vehicles.

The new eco-friendly additions, that have cabs reminiscent of cartoon bees or crickets, are ideal for urban delivery applications demanding heavy stop-and-go driving. With a range in excess of 100 miles on a single overnight charge, a payload capacity of over eight tons and an annual operating cost one-third to one-half that of conventional diesel trucks, the Smith EVs can hardly help increase the pharmacies bottom line.

The Newton commercial truck produces zero emissions, is virtually silent and features a regenerative braking system that reduces wear on the brakes while restoring charge to the battery.

"In having a significant part of our retail foundation within the most dynamic urban center in the world, we want to do our part to conserve energy across all areas of operation by lowering our carbon footprint in addition to creatively integrating low-energy output solutions within Duane Reade stores,” said Paul Tiberio, SVP Merchandising & Chief Marketing Officer of Duane Reade. “We are excited to partner with Smith Electric Vehicles and are confident the investments we are making today are not only good for the environment, but they also work to increase our business efficiency. Milea Truck Group and Continental Truck Body were major players in helping to bring Smith Electric to Duane Reade and building the truck body here in NYC, providing jobs for New Yorkers."

The program is part of the chain’s energy initiative, wherein all new and renovated stores feature 95 to 98 percent low-heat LED lighting, resulting in 40 percent less power consumption annually and eliminating air-conditioning units once required to relieve the excessive heat produced by traditional light sources.

In these same stores, Duane Reade uses Polyflor flooring, produced using 30 percent less water than most other commercial surfaces. It requires little maintenance and cleaning, while presenting an average life span of 20 to 25 years, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption.

"We welcome Duane Reade as the first retail pharmacy in the United States that has chosen fleet electrification as a viable economic option that also advances its sustainability goals. Duane Reade is joining a growing family of Smith vehicles in New York City that includes Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola and Down East Seafood, said Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles. “We're pleased to join Duane Reade in improving its bottom line while making the Big Apple cleaner and quieter."

It grows more and more obvious that before electric cars are commonplace in American garages, they will have already proven their consummate viability in the marketplace, in the form of fleet vehicles.