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Duane Reade and Smith Electric Vehicles Partner to Bring All-Electric Delivery Vehicles to New York's Streets

NEW YORK and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to improve fuel efficiency standards and lower carbon dioxide emissions, Duane Reade today announced a partnership with Smith Electric Vehicles to add Newton™ zero-emission, all-electric commercial trucks to its delivery fleet. With the addition of these medium-duty trucks, Duane Reade is the first retail pharmacy in the United States to choose fleet electrification through a pilot program with the global leader in zero-emission, all-electric commercial vehicles.

The new eco-friendly additions to Duane Reade's delivery fleet will prove ideal for urban delivery applications that demand heavy stop-and-go driving, with a market-leading range in excess of 100 miles on a single overnight charge, a payload of more than 16,000 pounds and an average annual operating cost that is one-third to one-half that of conventional diesel trucks. The Newton produces zero emissions, is virtually silent and features a regenerative braking system that reduces wear on the brakes while restoring charge to the battery.

Paul Tiberio, SVP Merchandising & Chief Marketing Officer of Duane Reade, commented, "In having a significant part of our retail foundation within the most dynamic urban center in the world, we want to do our part to conserve energy across all areas of operation by lowering our carbon footprint in addition to creatively integrating low-energy output solutions within Duane Reade stores. We are excited to partner with Smith Electric Vehicles and are confident the investments we are making today are not only good for the environment, but they also work to increase our business efficiency. Milea Truck Group and Continental Truck Body were major players in helping to bring Smith Electric to Duane Reade and building the truck body here in NYC, providing jobs for New Yorkers."

Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles, commented, "We welcome Duane Reade as the first retail pharmacy in the United States that has chosen fleet electrification as a viable economic option that also advances its sustainability goals. Duane Reade is joining a growing family of Smith vehicles in New York City that includes Frito-Lay, Coca-Cola and Down East Seafood. We're pleased to join Duane Reade in improving its bottom line while making the Big Apple cleaner and quieter."

This program is part of a continued energy initiative at Duane Reade, whereby all new and renovated stores feature 95% to 98% low-heat LED lighting, translating to approximately 40% less power consumption each year, eliminating the high-energy output air-conditioning units that were once required to mitigate the excessive heat produced by traditional light sources. In these same stores, Duane Reade has also incorporated Polyflor flooring, which is produced by using 30% less water than most other commercial surfaces. It requires little maintenance and cleaning, while presenting an average life span of 20 to 25 years, thereby significantly reducing energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

About Smith Electric Vehicles:

Smith Electric Vehicles ( manufactures and markets zero-emission commercial electric vehicles that are designed to be a superior-performing alternative to traditional diesel trucks due to higher efficiency and lower total cost of ownership. Its vehicle designs leverage more than 80 years of experiencing in selling and servicing electric vehicles in the United Kingdom. The company operates manufacturing facilities in Kansas City, Mo., and outside of Newcastle, U.K.

About Duane Reade

Founded in 1960, Duane Reade is the largest drug store chain in New York City. In keeping with company's brand vision of New York Living Made Easy, Duane Reade provides New Yorkers with prescriptions, health products and services, beauty products and services, food and convenience items for daily life in the City... everything for "How I Feel", "How I Look", and "What I Need Now".  The company operates 250+ stores throughout the metropolitan New York region. Duane Reade is part of the Walgreens family of companies, the nation's largest drugstore chain with more than 7,700 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE Duane Reade
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