VIA Motors EREV Van Passes Crash Tests; Goes On Sale This Fall

4 years ago by Cody Osborne 23

VIA Motors EREV Van

VIA Motors EREV Van

VIA Motors has announced that it recently finished crash testing on its new extended-range cargo van.

VIA Van First to Come to Market and First to Pass Independent Crash Tests

VIA Van First to Come to Market and First to Pass Independent Crash Tests

VIA Motors president, Alan Perriton, chimed in on the crash-test milestone, stating:

“We were very pleased with the results of the crash testing of our electric cargo van. The engineering work done to integrate the VIA’s electric technology has been exceptional and the vehicles have exceeded our expectations in all tests that were performed. We are now moving on to complete certification and begin mass production.”

The electron-sipping workhorse should go on sale this fall according to VIA.

But wait…there’s more.

In a recent social media post, VIA indicated that “they’ll soon be rolling in droves in Southern California.”

As for the EREV truck, VIA just posted this on its Facebook page:

“the VTRUX is currently in production focusing on fleet orders. VIA is taking pre-orders for the general public for its 402HP extended-range electric trucks for early 2014 delivery.”

With VIA saying that its EREV vehicles can save owner upwards of $36,000 on gas in an eight-year period, let’s hope VIA stays on track and delivers as promised.

VIA Van Specifications

VIA Van Specifications

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23 responses to "VIA Motors EREV Van Passes Crash Tests; Goes On Sale This Fall"

  1. Anthony says:

    Its been a long road for VIA motors, they’ve been in development for a long time considering that they’re only retrofitting an EREV drive train to an existing vehicle chassis.

    Finally, they can start to deliver vehicles and book revenue!

    1. Rick Danger says:

      Anthony, IIRC, GM brought out new chassis, so VIA had to re-engineer everything to fit them. Strange that it caught Bob Lutz unawares. Oh, those merry pranksters at GM!!

    2. Taser54 says:

      Via Motors was founded in 2010.

      1. Anthony says:

        Via Motors was spun off from Raser Technologies in 2010. As part of Raser Technologies, they still were working on EREV technology.

  2. Spec9 says:

    Well if GM, Ford, and Chrysler are too stupid to hit this easy market, I’m glad someone is stepping up to the plate. I’m sure utilities would like buy some electrified work vehicles if for no other reason than to show others it can be done and they get cheap electricity.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      +1

  3. offib says:

    35 miles on 22kWh! I’d love to see the MPGe figures from that. It’s bound the be worse than the Fisker Karma’s, I’m guessing somewhere in the 40MPGes where the Honda Insight can be just as efficient.
    Still, it took a while, but VIA motors is putting itself in a good position, it’ll be an important player on meeting the new EPA MPG standard of 54MPG in the future, if I’m not mistaken.

    1. Dave R says:

      Considering that these full size vans typically get 10-16 MPG, 35 miles on 22 kWh (~600 Wh / mile or about 50 MPGe) is pretty damn good and about what you’d expect from this type of vehicle.

  4. Jay Cole says:

    I neglected to do this earlier, but just wanted to welcome Cody to the InsideEVs writing team/legion.

    /wave

    1. David Stone says:

      Hey there Cody! 😉

      1. Cody Osborne says:

        Thanks David! I’m so glad to be on board! And Jay, thanks for the shout out! It’s a pleasure working with such talented and friendly folk.

  5. Mint says:

    A V8 range extender? Driving a generator capable of only 158kW peak?

    Yeah, that makes sense…

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Via has apparently not greatly worried about getting their marketing brochures technically Exacting. They used to say 24kwh battery, Lutz said 30 kwh battery, and this says ” ~~ 22 kwh”. They also say it can plug into a “plain 110” outlet and recharge in 8 hours, and “half the time on 220” . Assuming their 22 kwh (smallest number) and 12 amps at 120 volts, that allows 1.44 kwh / hour assuming 100% efficiency/100% power factor. That seems to imply they ar(e using GM’s ubiquitous 3.3 kw charger (used on every GM so far), but I get 15.2777 hours at this ideal 120 volt setup assuming zero losses anywhere

      . Other times they have said they are going to use a “4 or small v-6”.

      Also, how do you export 15 kw of power from a 7.2 kw (at best ) socket? Supposedly 50 kw export will be an extra EXTRA cost option.

      I’ll be asking for more detailed “brass tacks” information when they finally go on sale, or might go down with an amprobe and see If I can really find out whats really being offered, that is if they place a dealership reasonably near me.

      1. Aatheus says:

        Even that number is a bit iffy for 120v. On my 120v socket at home, it takes 21hr for my Leaf to charge up from Very Low Battery (2kWH -> 21kWH).

        1. Bill Howland says:

          My point exactly. It just can’t be. Now, on Via’s website, they are saying they are using 650 volts , and a 231 cubic inch v-6, but the battery placement is different in the van than in the pickup truck. But a change from 650 to 300 volts seems to indicate a reworked design. But is the 300 volts the new voltage? Or is the 650?

          They also say its a 24.4 kwh battery taking 15 hours to charge at 120, which as you say, is impossible when you take losses into account since it can’t do that even theoretically. They do say they’re using a 4 hour 6.6 kw charger which is believable.

          Hopefully, Via motors is not falling into the trap of making several different power trains, voltages (300 and 650), generator sizes, and arbitrarily changing all kinds of things, instead of coming up with ( for them ) is a standardized design and just run with it and get production volumes up. It really doesn’t matter exactly what they come up with or even how modern it is, since right now ANYTHING on the market would sell since they have the entirety of the market themselves. But as David Murray says, the window of opportunity for Via is closing.

      2. Taser54 says:

        Bill, it appears that there are different range extenders utilized. Here is an excerpt from consumer reports.

        “The various VTrux will use engines sourced from General Motors, with the vans fitted with a 4.8-liter V8 and pickups equipped with a 4.3-liter V6. The “Presidential SUV” will use the popular 5.3-liter V8 with cylinder deactivation, as found in the redesigned Silverado.”

        http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/10/via-motors-vtrux-plug-in-hybrid-trucks-coming-soon/index.htm

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Yeah, seems like they have way too many arbitrary different changes for little effect. I mean really, whats the point of offering both a 4.6 L v6 and a 4.8 L v-8? And why can’t they get their info on the advertising to add up? They can’t hire a proof reader, or are they just incompetant?

          If they were selling 100,000 of these things, then, yes they could offer all kinds of options. But if they are just making 1000 of each, then they’re creating their own monster for servicing or warranty repairs.

    2. scottf200 says:

      Think work truck. Think hauler. Think tower. Think 240v outlet.

  6. David Murray says:

    I really have a bad feeling about Via motors, to be honest. Right now they are the only game in town. But I suspect within 5 to 10 years one of the major auto manufacturers is going to jump on this, possibly even GM themselves. At that point economies of scale will bring the price down way below what VIA motors can achieve. That will essentially put them out of business.

    1. taser54 says:

      Nah, GM will likely just buy VIA out if they are successful. Think of VIA as a GM incubator for commercial EREV; it took all the risk, and GM can swoop in and purchase the company once the startup inertia is overcome.

      1. scottf200 says:

        That would make a ton of sense seeing how how many trucks sell per month!! And not cheap trucks.
        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/10/usa-pickup-truck-sales-figures-september-2013-ytd.html

  7. Aaron says:

    From the illustration at the top of the page, this vehicle does appear to be a true EREV, serial hybrid. Makes me wonder why they went the more complex parallel hybrid route with the Volt. Maybe the parallel hybrid method works well with smaller vehicles and serial hybrid works better with larger ones.

  8. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    I wonder what the pumping losses of a V8 that size only putting out 100kW will be?