That demonstration Via Motors made with its extended-range plug-in trucks in San Francisco a few months back must've made some impression. At the Plug In Conference in San Diego, CA last week, the company announced it has won a $20-million contract to supply the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with its trucks.

As part of the contract, the trucks will include data-recording instruments that will help the US Department of Energy (when open) quantify emissions and fuel economy under working conditions. The data will be compiled by the Idaho National Lab (INL), and the project will be managed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

In July, Via Motors showed off its VTRUX pick-up trucks at San Francisco's Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative event sponsored by PG&E and specifically promoted the trucks' 120- and 240-volt power outlets that can be used by workmen. The VTRUX also include a 300-kilowatt motor and a 150-kilowatt generator, making it an emergency backup power source if needed by utility companies. In addition to the pick-up, Via also sells a van and an SUV, all of which, the company says, can go 40 miles on electric power and can achieve fuel economy of more than 100 miles per gallon. Check out Via's press release below.
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VIA Motors Receives $20 Million Contract to Supply Electric Pickups and Vans to Fleets

San Diego, CA – In a press conference today at the Plug-In 2013 electric vehicle show in San Diego California, VIA Motors president Alan Perriton announced that VIA has signed a contract to build & deliver $20 million dollars of electric pick-up trucks and vans to over 50 participating fleets. In addition, VIA will install proprietary technology into each vehicle that will record and transmit real-time data to allow the DOE to quantify improvements in fuel economy and emissions.

The contract is administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) acting as project manager. The California Energy Commission is also participating the program. The DOE plans to publish the data for use by government agencies, participating fleets and the general public to use to help quantify the benefits of operating plug-in electric vehicles. VIA's electrified pickup trucks have already demonstrated the potential to reduce gas consumption and emissions by up to 80% on average in early beta testing with large fleet customers.

"Plug in electric passenger vehicles are now becoming widely commercialized," said Matt Miyasato, SCAQMD's deputy executive officer for Science and Technology Advancement. "Expanding the commercialization of near zero-emission vehicles to include pickups and cargo vans will drive us closer to our goal of a near-zero emission transportation sector."

"The pick-up truck is the number one selling vehicle in America and VIA Motors is the only automaker building electric light-duty pick-up trucks, cargo vans and passenger vans," noted Alan Perriton, VIA Motors president. "The all-in cost is actually lower than driving a gas truck; this is very welcome news to budget-constrained fleets who spend more and more each year on ever-increasing gas prices, who can now save money and reduce their fleet emissions."

The program includes technology installed in each vehicle that will record and transmit data to the Idaho National Lab (INL) for analysis by the DOE and EPRI. INL is one of the nation's leading national labs operated by the DOE and specializes in evaluating vehicle performance and energy consumption.

About VIA Motors

VIA Motors is a privately held electric vehicle development and manufacturing company. VIA employs a streamlined second stage manufacturing process to integrate its proprietary V-DRIVE™ power train into new OEM vehicles, then sells directly to fleets under the VTRUX™ brand name. VIA VTRUX deliver up to 40-mile battery range and unlimited extended range, averaging over 100 mpg in typical daily driving. More information on VIA Motors may be found at: VIAmotors.com. To see a video with Bob Lutz go to VIAmotors.com/news/press-releases/erev/. To estimate operational savings using an online calculator go to VIAmotors.com/news/fleet_calculator.

About EPRI

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

About AQMD

AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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VIA Motors' electric pickup trucks and vans have been selected for a major contract.

In a press conference held October 2 at the Plug-In 2013 electric vehicle show in San Diego, VIA Motors president Alan Perriton announced that VIA has signed a contract to build and deliver $20 million worth of electric pick-up trucks and vans to over 50 participating fleets.

In addition, VIA said it will install proprietary technology into each vehicle that will record and transmit real-time data to allow the DOE to quantify improvements in fuel economy and emissions.

The contract is administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) acting as project manager. The California Energy Commission is also participating the program.

VIA said the DoE plans to publish the data for use by government agencies, participating fleets and the general public to use to help quantify the benefits of operating plug-in electric vehicles.

VIA said its electrified pickup trucks have already demonstrated the potential to reduce gas consumption and emissions by up to 80 percent on average in early beta testing with large fleet customers.

"Plug in electric passenger vehicles are now becoming widely commercialized," said Matt Miyasato, SCAQMD's deputy executive officer for Science and Technology Advancement. "Expanding the commercialization of near zero-emission vehicles to include pickups and cargo vans will drive us closer to our goal of a near-zero emission transportation sector."

According to VIA, the program includes technology installed in each vehicle that will record and transmit data to the Idaho National Lab (INL) for analysis by the DOE and EPRI. INL is one of the nation's leading national labs operated by the DOE and specializes in evaluating vehicle performance and energy consumption.

"The pick-up truck is the number one selling vehicle in America and VIA Motors is the only automaker building electric light-duty pick-up trucks, cargo vans and passenger vans," noted Alan Perriton, VIA Motors president. "The all-in cost is actually lower than driving a gas truck; this is very welcome news to budget-constrained fleets who spend more and more each year on ever-increasing gas prices, who can now save money and reduce their fleet emissions."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      danfred311
      • 1 Year Ago
      Facepalm. Via is such a dead end. Bureaucratic waste of money on a grand scale. A moron's vehicle is not compatible with electric drive.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred311
        Large and light-duty trucks have the greatest potential to benefit from electric drive trains. More gas can be saved by converting them than would be saved by converting small cars that are already relatively efficient.
          Tweaker
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          This needs to be repeated more often.
          danfred311
          • 1 Day Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          They are not large because they need to do a lot. They are large because of mental illness. So the solution to these ridiculous vehicles is to simply make them go away and then you can talk about electrified reasonable work vehicles. What mentally ill USA never stops to realize is that there is no such a thing as a pickup truck in europe, let alone oversized stupidity like the above. And you might thoughtlessly say let them have their stupid vehicles if only they are electric but if that was a reasonable stance I would have thought of it first. The problem is that an extremely wasteful vehicle is exceedingly expensive in batteries. Just look at Jack Rickard's conversion of his Escalade. His pickup Escalade no less. An 8000lbs 160000$ abomination. And do you know how he justified it? It can take 4 people to a restaurant in comfort. And he was not kidding. So warped is the thinking that it imagines anything more reasonable would be annoying to get into and couldn't carry 4 people.
          Letstakeawalk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          *facepalm* I just realized who I was replying to.
      Aaron
      • 1 Year Ago
      If this is a plug-in hybrid, why do they have EREV on the side of the truck? Are they trying to fool people? This truck is obviously a parallel hybrid (PHEV), not a serial hybrid (EREV).
        Naturenut99
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        It is an EREV. 1st "40 miles" as EV, then gas generator after that. Learn about something more than just looking at the picture. www.viamotors.com/powertrain/
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        The term "PHEV" is NOT specific to only "Parallel" hybrids. EREV is NOT an industry wide recognized term either. It is something Bob Lutz cooked up to sound different than the Prius.
        MTN RANGER
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Aaron
        VIA VTRUX is a series hybrid or EREV. Look at this: http://www.viamotors.com/powertrain/ Note in the diagram, only the electric motor is connected to the rear wheels.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @MTN RANGER
          Which means that while in CS Mode and at highway speeds, the VIA truck lacks the extra bit of efficiency that the Volt has by combining the ICE with the traction motor.