President Obama will use his visit to Smith Electric Vehicles U.S. Corp. in Kansas City on Thursday to highlight how the federal government is using stimulus grants to encourage more private investment and job creation, administration officials said. Jared Bernstein, chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, and Matt Rogers, a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, briefed reporters Wednesday ahead of the presidentâ¿¿s visit. Obama is scheduled to tour Smith Electricâ¿¿s facility near Kansas City International Airport before speaking with employees there about the economy. Smith Electric has received a total of $32 million in Department of Energy grants, which the men said the company matched with $36 million of its own money to help produce 500 all-electric delivery trucks that will be bought by such firms as Coca-Cola, Staples, Frito-Lay and Kansas City Power & Light Co. The grants came from $2.4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds set aside to encourage development of electric vehicles. â¿¿The Smith Electric story provides a great microcosm of the Recovery Actâ¿¿s agenda,â¿ Bernstein said. â¿¿Itâ¿¿s precisely by planting these seeds that the federal government incentivizes private capital to come in off the sidelines and get to work building new sectors of our economy and, in the process, build good jobs here in America.â¿ The vehicles, which cost $150,000 each, can carry as much as 16,000 pounds and have a range of 100 miles on a single charge. Rogers said the company is operating three assembly lines in the former American Airlines maintenance base at KCI (Airport code: MCI) and is on track to employ about 70 people. â¿¿We expect there is a large market for these electric trucks and we expect demand to grow as the market proves out the economics for these vehicles,â¿ he said, adding that the efforts will make the United States competitive in what is expected to be a high-growth global industry.