Smith Electric Vehicles files to raise up to $125M in IPO


Electric truck and van maker Smith Electric Vehicles has filed for an IPO that could potentially raise up to $125 million (S-1 here). The company, based in Kansas City, Mo. has long said it planned to go public, and it bought the electric vehicle division of its U.K. parent company, the Tanfield Group, earlier this year.

Smith sells electric trucks and vans for companies’ fleet operations and counts customers like Coca-Cola, (s ko) Fed-Ex, (s fdx) Staples, (s spls) and Sainsburys, as well as the military. The trucks and vans are supposed to be cost competitive with diesel trucks.

However, Smith’s operations are still small. The company has only sold 320 vehicles for the year ending Sept. 30, 2011, but says in its filing that it has a backlog of 120 vehicles and has pre-sold 540 vehicles, which it will produce through July 2012. In the long run, Smith says it has customer interest for another 2,220 vehicles, which it will produce between 2012 and 2015.

For the six months that ended June 30, 2011, Smith generated $37.60 million in revenue, which was up from the $15.82 million in revenue it generated for the previous period in 2010. Like most greentech companies that try to go public these days, Smith is also not profitable. For the six months that ended June 30, 2011, Smith had a net loss of $21.28 million, which was a larger net loss than the $9.52 million that the company lost the year before.

Smith Electric Vehicles is a modest winner of Department of Energy stimulus funds, and won $32 million in grants to build electric trucks with on-board telemetry systems. Obama also visited Smith’s factory back in 2010 and gave a speech about green jobs. Obama has a plan to get 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015.

Smith was on our 10 greentech IPO picks, but for 2010, not 2011.


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