New ultra-efficient electric drive line from Smith Electric will increase electric vehicle range by up to 20 percent

Smith Electric Vehicles in North East England is working on a new ultra-efficient electric drive line, along with smarter, more energy efficient ancillary systems, such as heating and air conditioning. Combining all these elements together, Smith’s engineers believe they can improve the range of its electric vans by up to 20 miles on a full battery charge. Current maximum range is around 100 miles for urban operations. Smith’s new high voltage systems for air conditioning, power steering and heating will reduce drain on the traction batteries, thereby extending the vehicle’s range on a single charge.

The £2.8m investment will fund the development of three sub-systems and integrate them all into the Smith Edison, a pure electric version of the Ford Transit van produced in collaboration with Ford of Europe. However Tanfield believes there is substantial crossover potential for the auxiliary systems, into other electric cars, vans and trucks. The core of the project is a new high efficiency motor, coupled with smart two-speed transmission and managed by a central vehicle systems controller.