The Sinoply Battery company in Hong Kong has invested $42 million into Smith Electric of Kansas City, taking an equity stake and becoming the electric truck maker’s exclusive battery supplier. The agreement has Sinoply taking an unspecified ownership stake in Smith Electric, but not controlling shares.
The agreement came with an immediate $2 million infusion into Smith in order to get the company back on track towards re-opening its Kansas City production plant and meeting specific milestone goals in order to receive the remaining funds, which will come in two phases over the coming months.
It’s expected that the agreement and meeting of the milestones will result in Smith gaining a partner in China with the likelihood that the company would begin selling trucks there.
Smith Electric expects to resume production at its facility in Kansas City this summer. Production ended December 31 when money for the company began to dry up.