BMW's mainstream cars will benefit from technology borrowed from the i3 and i8, according to BMW sales head Ian Robertson. In an interview with Automotive News, Robertson said that next-generation cars will use carbon fiber more extensively, and that more cars will get plug-in technology. He said that about half of i3 buyers opt for the range extender and added that it is incorrect to refer to a range-extended electric vehicle as a plug-in hybrid. Read more at Automotive News.
The ethanol market should remain healthy despite falling oil prices. While cheap oil could drive down ethanol prices, demand still remains due to the federal biofuels standard. Additionally, ethanol producers may find it cheaper to ship their products as domestic oil production drops and railroad shipping opens up. Ethanol byproducts like distillers grains continue to sell, and foreign demand continues as other countries impose their own renewable fuel standards. Read more at Yahoo News.
Via Motors will launch the production of an electric Chevrolet Silverado. The company will convert the pickups into range-extended EVs at its assembly line in Mexico, near GM's Silverado plant. Via has the capacity to produce 10,000 vehicles per year at its Mexico facility. Via Motors Chairman (and former GM Vice Chairman during the early days of the Chevrolet Volt project) Bob Lutz wants to help make EVs mainstream in America, and believes that requires electrifying pickups and SUVs. Read more in the press release below.
Media access to Bob Lutz, former Vice-Chairman of General Motors and father of the Chevy Volt
Bob Lutz is now Chairman of VIA Motors who builds the "Volt Style" extended range electric drive system for the Silverado, the Express Van and is working on the SUV's (Tahoe, Suburban)
5 years in development. Now production Launch and Consumer Sales in 2015.
Lutz continues his vision for practical electric vehicles for the mainstream with the electrification of the Chevy Silverado by VIA and Chevy Express Van used by FedEx, Verizon and most of America's leading fleets
The electrified Silverado has been 5 years in development with VIA working hand in hand with GM at top levels and averages over 100 mpg in typical driving as tested in major fleets
Bob will make the announcement of the production launch of the Chevy 4WD Silverado at the AutoNews World Congress through a press release datelined AutoNews World Congress, Jan 13, 2015
Bob will do a photo op of the sleek black electric Silverado at the event on Tues between 12p and 2p and will be available for interview with AutoNews.
The Trucks are being built in VIA's new assembly line in Mexico near GM's Silverado plant. VIA has capacity of 10,000 vehicles per year at that facility alone (see photo below)
The electrification of the pickup truck heralds the transition to MAIN STREAM of electric vehicle offerings. Pickup truck is the #1 selling vehicle in America for 20 years
VIA electrified Silverado's come with 240V and 120V outlets for job site tools, enough power to run an arc welder all day long, or your home in an emergency, or store solar energy in your garage.
U.S. government is testing bi-directional functionality of VIA's Power X-Port for use as energy security on base, and for the grid
Fuel savings on larger vehicles like trucks, vans, & SUV's offer much higher return going from 15 mpg to over 100 mpg average this technology pays for itself and reduces fuel costs by up to 5 times.
VIA plans to offer a solar charging bed cover "tonneau top" that charges the truck while (5-10 miles additional range per day) driving for free (see photo below)
With the success of Tesla in the luxury class, many are asking when electric vehicles will be available to the "mainstream" who can't afford a 3rd or 4th specialty car with limited range
Lutz advises that electrification can happen today in the mainstream using extended range technology like the Volt or VIA Truck.