Hey! Where Is The VIA Motors Extended Range Truck Already?

4 years ago by Jay Cole 26

VIA VTRUX  - 40 Miles Electric / 300 Miles Total Range

VIA VTRUX – 40 Miles Electric / 300 Miles Total Range

Do you remember Bob Lutz and Jay Leno tooling around in a VIA Motors extended range truck over a year ago?  Or Mr. Lutz opening up the 2013 Detroit Auto Show NAIAS promoting new upcoming products from VIA Motors?

VIA Motor's Bob Lutz.  A Man Who Never Slows Down

VIA Motor’s Bob Lutz. A Man Who Never Slows Down

Earlier still, do you remember the promised start of production on the truck “by 2013,” that turned into during 2013, that turned into  “…(we) expect to begin selling to the general public some time in 2014.”

So what gives?  VIA’s website has been unchanged in what seems like forever, it still lists an estimated price of $79,000 for a VTRUX, that you can reserve for only $1,000…with “Expected Delivery (in) 2013”

Well, Fleets And Fuels has an answer for us – saying that Via Motors is now focusing on vans instead of pickups because of a change in GM’s pickup chassis that “has forced a major design update for the pickup product Via had intended to bring to market first.”

VIA VP of sales and business development, Mark Burdge, tells Fleets and Fuels, “It put us back about 12 months…Luckily, we hadn’t crashed the truck yet.”

From that point the VIA exec says that the company has paused the project and waited on GM, although Mr. Burdge still notes that “GM has been great to work with.”

Well, Lets Call It Arriving Sometime In 2014 Now

Well, Lets Call It Arriving Sometime In 2014 Now

VIA Lineup Of Future Vehicles (Now First Available On "Van" Platform)

VIA Lineup Of Future Vehicles (Now First Available On “Van” Platform)

VIA notes that their new version of the extended range truck will be more modern and efficient because VIA will be installing its series hybrid electric drive to a V-6 engine, as compared to the outgoing, smallest available V-8.

So what does the new timetable look like?

  • GM based platform vans will be the first to market, and Mr. Burdge says that “The van is in final certification now for delivery this fall
  • GM based pickups, should be available for delivery in the first quarter of 2014
  • As for sequencing of the trucks, the 4×4 crew cab will be first off the factory floor, then the double cab, followed by the standard truck

Fleets & Fuels

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26 responses to "Hey! Where Is The VIA Motors Extended Range Truck Already?"

  1. David Murray says:

    Sorry, I just can’t see $79,000 for a EREV truck. I could see $50,000

    1. scottf200 says:

      Still a bunch of savings for fleet usage. Fleet managers are spreadsheet jockeys and look more long term than individuals. See http://www.viamotors.com/vtrux/calculator/

    2. Aaron says:

      These are plug-in hybrids, like the Volt, rather than an extended-range EV, like the BMW i3.

      1. Driverguy01 says:

        Dang, all this time i tought my Volt was an erev…. oh well.

        1. scottf200 says:

          Volt and BMW w/ext_range work the same. You can press it all the way to the floor up to 101 MPH and the ICE never comes on. Try that in a PiP, energi, etc which act like a typically non-plug in hybrid (limit power/performance).

      2. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

        Uh, Volt is an EREV.

        1. Charlie H says:

          Actually, so is this. It’s a series system, the engine is not mechanically linked to the wheels.

  2. Nelson says:

    From that point the VIA exec says that the company has paused the project and waited on GM, although Mr. Burdge still notes that “GM has been great to work with.”

    I don’t think they’d be saying the opposite. What’s the saying that applies here? “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” Or “Don’t burn any bridges.”

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

  3. Spec says:

    Stay away from 3-letter EV companies . . . Zap, Amp, and Via.

    1. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Or BMW?

      1. Charlie H says:

        DKW?

  4. Anderlan says:

    I wish I could say this means we can expect a Voltec truck sooner rather than later, but if GM throws kinks in VIA’s plans it just leaves them more time to lollygag. So, blech.

  5. Dan Frederiksen says:

    The thing is that if you are dumb enough to buy an oversize pickup you are nowhere near smart and informed enough to care about electric drive or know anything about global warming or foreign policy issues.
    Especially not to the tune of 80 grand.
    Only someone as stupid as Bob Lutz would think it’s a good idea.

    AMP tried electrifying stupid large vehicles too. Didn’t work either. Batteries make you pay for stupid.

    1. Taser54 says:

      C’mon Dan, unhitch that horse you are riding on. It’s dead. Continually beating it will not take you anywhere.

      1. scottf200 says:

        Dan, these are initially work truck that include a generator to run any of your tools (240v even). Ton of scenarios where driving 40-50 miles a day in a work truck saves plenty of money. See the calculator I pointed to above.

      2. Dan Frederiksen says:

        I’m not going anywhere and I’m not convinced that horse is dead. It might just be faking it 🙂

        When you can tell me why no other country in the world has such stupid oversized pickups or pickups at all if it’s so justified, then I will agree the horse is dead.
        In Europe we have actual work vehicles, not hick posers.

        1. David Stone says:

          Actually, there are pick-up trucks in europe aswell.

          1. in countries where, like in America, fuel is cheap (and they are ancient)
          2. in areas where there is money; luckily only very few rich poeple are THAT stupid.

          But in general, you are very right.

    2. Thomas J. Thias says:

      Hmmmm, Mr. Fredrickson, you need to get out more often! New Truck M.S.R.P.s at Ford, Ram and Chevrolet/GMC are approaching the $60,000+ area for vehicles comparably equipt as the VIA Truck ( @Vtrux ) mentioned here.

      With the VIA E-REV Powertrains 150 kW Generator, power is exportable for job site or multiple home use in the event of a power failure. Commercial grade generators on trailer push $20,000 and up.

      First 40 miles or so daily for about $3.00 electric fuel cost-
      Save $350.00 to $450.00 a month in fuel costs, deduct this from operational overhead- Game Changer!

      So, there is a big market awating the mass production of these trucks, ahem, with a little assistance from GM…

      Best-

      Thomas J. Thias

      @AmazingChevVsolt

  6. Bill Howland says:

    That surprised me about the v8, I thought the largest engine was the v6. The way that I drive, I’d think a 4 cylinder EREV would be adequate..

    Good question Jay. Others I have is that the electric numbers on their web site never made any sense. I’m gleaning that the power available is somewhere around 120/240 30 amps , 1 phase, inverter derived 7kw, and the 240 volt charging rate is 3.3 kw , same as any other GM product.

    I’d like to buy a ViaScalade or ViaDenali whenever they get around to it. But give me at least a 30 kwh battery and a 4 cylinder EREV. Sufficient for my needs.

    1. KeiJidosha says:

      “the 240 volt charging rate is 3.3 kw , same as any other GM product.”
      VIA website states 6.6kW on-board charger.

      1. scottf200 says:

        It is not a GM electric powertrain so assuming 3.3 kW didn’t make sense. 6.6 kW makes since because of the larger than Volt battery size and 3 hour less than Volt quoted time.

  7. Spin says:

    I wil be surprised if this ever happens and even more surprised if they are succesful

    1. David Stone says:

      Just going by the company, I would be surprised also.
      But with Bob Lutz’s involvement…

      I disagree with his sceptisism on climate change, but he is generally seen to be down-to-earth result and success driven, and I do not think he would be involved with a vapour venture.

      For that reason alone, I would be surprised if they were not successful.

  8. Rick Danger says:

    Bob must be pissed at GM for not telling him about the new design changes, letting him waste time and money developing the old one.

  9. Jeff says:

    VIA is focusing on fleet sales, not sales to the general public. They’ve signed Pacific Gas and Electric, Verizon and many more.

  10. Charlie H says:

    GM announced plans for their next generation of trucks something like two, maybe three years ago. If Via is surprised by this, they have no one to blame but themselves.