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U.S.-British Consortium to Build Electric Van Factory in Missouri

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation, a joint venture of U.S. investors, Ford Motor Company, and the Tanfield Group plc of the United Kingdom, will invest $5 million to construct an electric van plant in Kansas City, Missouri, according to the Associated Press (AP). The project, which is scheduled to be formally announced today, will employ up to 200 people within three years. The Kansas City Star reports that the average annual starting salary for the jobs will be $44,236 plus benefits. The Star says the vehicle, which will be called the Smith Newton, is described by Smith Electric as "the world's largest battery-electric-powered truck," with a range of 100 miles, a top speed of 50 miles per hour, and a payload of up to 16,280 pounds; it will be powered by lithium-ion batteries that can be fully recharged in six to eight hours. AP says the facilities will initially be located in two vacant buildings at the Kansas City International Airport.

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