Canada is going to soon make a big mark in the global market for electric trucks and vans, thanks to a deal with Via Motors. Sun Country Highway, a Canadian company dedicated to the adoption of zero emission transportation, has inked an $80-million deal with Via to purchase plug-in hybrids for businesses across the country. So far, an order for the first 100 extended-range utility vehicles with an $8-million deposit has been placed with Via. These work trucks and vans, all converted General Motors products with a "solid" 40-mile electric range, are efficient enough that Bot Lutz says they make the Toyota Prius look like a gas guzzler.

Sun Country Highway has already installed 1,000 charging stations across the country, allowing EV owners to travel coast-to-coast with access to free charging. The next phase will bring charging stations for electric shuttle vans and trucks. About 100 chargers were placed at Best Western Hotels for the project, said Sun Country founder Kent Rathwell. During the next phase, Via's electric trucks will be deployed to meet demands coming from the expanding project, he said. The Best Western Seven Oaks hotel in Regina in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan will be the first hotel in this chain to offer electrified shuttle van services as part of the Sun Country project.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Paul Smith
      • 11 Months Ago
      I think Bot Lutz exaggerates a little.
      • 11 Months Ago
      That's just top of the line stupid to spend that kind of money on these soon to be orphaned muricana junk piles.
        • 11 Months Ago
        Are they necessarily stupid? Yes, I will be the first to say that many people buy trucks and SUV's without a real 'need.' However, the full size truck, in many cases, is used as designed. The versatility and work capabilities make them useful for a wide range of applications. Many of the businesses I work with use them extensively with no alternative. Now yes, there appears to be little attempt in this segment to make them lighter weight (except ford's recent effort) or aero, but there is a genuine market for the current iteration of these vehicles. I have always thought that the business and government side of the market were better markets than consumer markets for EV's and phev's. In these cases, both, in many situations, will have a known, defined route that they travel, where range anxiety will or will not be a known factor prior to the purchase of the vehicle.
      • 11 Months Ago
      Congratulations to Sun Country Highway, Best Western Hotels, Via Motors and Bob Lutz. The value of applying EV technology to this class of vehicles is often overlooked, by EV enthusiasts. These vehicles help educate a section of the community about motor vehicle environmental awareness, that otherwise could be expected to be hostile. The vehicles themselves showcase the practical ability of EV technology to assist even the most unlikely vehicles to become more environmentally friendly, and increase performance. I hope when I'm 82, I'm still as active and making a positive contribution as the remarkable Bob Lutz.
      • 11 Months Ago
      At the current rate, even Saudi Arabia will surpass the US in Alt-EV vehicles. You can thank the idjits pretending to be conservatives in Congress for that one, too.
      • 11 Months Ago
      I believe the VIA trucks are EREVs. They do not have a direct linkage between the drivetrain and the ICE (AFAIK). That differs from the Volt which does have a direct linkage via its three-clutch system.