University of Missouri-Kansas City adds eco-friendly, all-electric truck to its fleet of vehicles

UMKC becomes first university in the nation to operate zero-emission mid-class cargo truck on its campus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As part of its growing commitment to sustainability, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) has announced the purchase of its first eco-friendly all-electric truck. The addition of the Smith Electric Vehicles Newton truck to the university’s transportation fleet makes UMKC the first university in the nation to operate a mid-size all-electric vehicle on its campus. The truck will be used primarily to service UMKC’s recycling programs on the Volker and Hospital Hill campuses.

“As an institution of higher learning, we are well versed in our duties and responsibilities to our students and our community,” said Leo E. Morton, UMKC Chancellor. “This is a chance for us to teach by example. Real learning can take place anywhere, and here and now we are acting on our commitment to recycle, restore and reuse. Use of the recycling bins scattered around our campus have been so successful that it makes perfect sense to use an environmentally sensitive vehicle to round up those recyclables.”

The university purchased the truck with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Cities Initiative. In addition to cost savings, the electric truck is a significant first step toward decreasing the University’s transportation fleet carbon emissions while reducing noise around campus and surrounding neighborhoods. With only five moving parts, the Smith Newton truck operates in near silence.

The Newton truck is powered by the latest Lithium-Ion batteries and a 120kw electric motor, has a top speed of 55 mph (80km) and a range in excess of 100 miles (160km) on a full charge. It is designed to operate at peak effectiveness in urban environments that demand heavy stop-and-go driving. A single overnight charge provides more than enough range for UMKC’s daily metro-area pick-up and delivery routes. The Newton truck was launched in the UK by Smith Electric Vehicles in 2006. It is produced in North America by Smith Electric Vehicles US Corporation, based in Kansas City, Mo.

“We’re proud to be a part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s effort to cut its operating costs while creating a greener recycling program,” said Smith Electric CEO Bryan Hansel. “UMKC is leading the way as universities across the country look for diesel alternatives that make their operations more environmentally-friendly and financially-efficient.”

For more information about UMKC’s sustainability efforts, visit

About Smith Electric

Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation is an all-electric zero- emissions commercial truck manufacturer. The company licenses its proprietary technology from Smith Electric Vehicles in the U.K., the world’s largest manufacturer and industry leader of commercial electric vehicles. Smith is a privately held company owned by Private Investors Management, and the Tanfield Group Plc, based in the United Kingdom. Smith produces the Smith Newton — the world’s largest battery-electric-powered truck. For more information about Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corporation, visit

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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