Pres. Barack Obama made a stop at a factory that makes all-electric trucks in Kansas City, Missouri today to tout those type of vehicles and the Stimulus Bill money that is helping build up the plant’s capacity.
The White House says the $32 million grant for Smith Electric’s new factory, coupled with $36 million in private funds, has help the company expand to being able to build 500 all-electric trucks:
While he was there, the President also had the pleasure of announcing the company was hiring its 50th worker at the plant. By September, that number is expected to grow to 70, and at the project’s peak, Smith tells us the project will create more than 220 direct and indirect jobs. As the President said:[T]he reason I’m here today is because, at this plant, you’re doing more than just building new vehicles. You are helping to fight our way through a vicious recession and you are building the economy of America’s future.
The story of Smith’s factory shows the direct and measurable impact of the Recovery Act. Smith’s factory is re-purposing an 80,000 sq. ft. jet engine overhaul facility at the Kansas City International Airport, a space that was not being utilized or creating jobs is now a fully operational plant.
Officials say the factory helps show that electric-drive cars and trucks are legitimate, and fleet customers such as Coca-Cola and AT&T will soon put them to the test. The federal money helps cut the number of years it might have taken to develop the technology relying solely on the private sector.