Electric car and truck companies announce expansion plans in New York and California

Smith Electric, a major electric truck manufacturer, has announced plans to build a new assembly plant in the South Bronx, New York. The announcement comes as another maker of alternative vehicles said it would be adding hundreds of new jobs at its California facility.

The Kansas City-based Smith said it expects to bring 100 jobs to the New York city area with the new plant that will produce electric school buses and medium- and heavy-duty trucks, according to the New York Times.

City Councilman James Vacca told the news agency the announcement to build a factory in the borough is a win-win situation.

"The electric trucks are welcome because they address both environmental and quality-of-life issues," Vacca added. "Long-term, this will mean jobs, but also quieter traffic and less pollution."

Smith has already found customers in the state, including Duane Reade pharmacy.

Meanwhile, in Fremont, California, Tesla Motors said it was ramping up production at its electric car manufacturing plant, a move expected to open up approximately 400 jobs through the first quarter of 2012, according to KGO-TV.

Tesla said the starting pay will be $16 an hour and include benefits and an employee stock plan.