All VIA Motors Execs Drive Chevy Volts And Guess What…

2 years ago by Eric Loveday 63

VIA Execs Drive Chevy Volts

VIA Execs Drive Chevy Volts

The "New Hotness" Of 2016 Chevrolet Volt Was Partially Revealed At The LA Autoshow In November

The “New Hotness” Of 2016 Chevrolet Volt Was Partially Revealed At The LA Auto Show In November

They LOVE them.

This is the highest level of praise an automaker could ever hope to receive.

When an automaker publicly reveals that ALL of its execs drive a vehicle produced by some other automaker, that’s a whole new level of praise not often seen in the automotive industry.

The vehicle is none other than the Chevrolet Volt.  As for the automaker whose execs all drive the Volt?  That’s VIA Motors.

Yesterday, General Motors Tweeted of the 2016 Chevy Volt reveal at the 2015 NAIAS.

VIA Motors quickly replied to the Tweet stating:

“@ChevyVolt ALL our VIA Motors execs drive Chevy Volts & we LOVE them. I’ve driven 26k miles in under 2 tanks of gas! Looking forward to NAIAS.”

We realize that VIA is not a General Motors competitor and that VIA’s EREVs operate similar to the Volt, but still to admit that your execs ALL drive Volts is unexpected and shows us just how far some are willing to go to express their love  for the Volt.

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63 responses to "All VIA Motors Execs Drive Chevy Volts And Guess What…"

  1. Markh21518 says:

    Not hard to understand, I love my Volt won’t go back to a gasser, and really in Utah there is not another good valid option that has enough power to go where you want when you want. Tesla is fast and has range, but you still need a plug on both ends of your trip.

  2. Rob Stark says:

    Via is not really an automaker but a GM tuner.

    Specifically, they Voltec they Chevy Silverado.

    This would be like a conversion van company that specializing in converting the Mercedes Sprinter announcing all their execs drive Mercedes.

    1. MTN Ranger says:

      GM should just bit the bullet and just buy VIA and incorporate the system for all their trucks and vans.

      1. ggpa says:

        That would be a huuuuuuge waste of money.

        I think GM should by XL Hybrids

        1. kdawg says:

          @Rob Stark
          “Specifically, they Voltec they Chevy Silverado.”
          ——-
          It’s not really Voltec though. VIA developed their own technology, or basically Remy did. Yes it’s an “EREV” truck, but it’s not “Voltec”.

        2. ggpa says:

          And your point is???

  3. Pete says:

    No great surprise when you look at who VIA is. Most of the execs are from GM and VIA gets major discounts from GM.

    The VIA drive concept is nothing like the Volt. VIA and the BMW I3-rex share the concept of a pure BEV with a built in range extending ICE driven generator. This eliminates the complicated mechanical drive system used in the Volt.

    I realize that the VIA design is slightly less efficient than the volt, but the simplicity more than makes up for the loss. If the Volt used the VIA concept, I would be a volt owner.

    1. Big Solar says:

      +1

      1. kdawg says:

        I haven’t heard of any “discounts” given to VIA by GM. They aren’t buying gliders.

    2. ClarksonCote says:

      “I realize that the VIA design is slightly less efficient than the volt, but the simplicity more than makes up for the loss. If the Volt used the VIA concept, I would be a volt owner.”

      I couldn’t DISAGREE more. Volt transmission is still less complex than a conventional automatic. I’ll take that and the added efficiency any day.

      1. Stuart22 says:

        +100

      2. ClarksonCote, I don’t see a ‘Transmission’ in the usual Sense in the VIA Trux – http://www.viamotors.com/vehicles/electric-truck/

        A Gearbox, yes, but not a ratio changing transmission – they have a 195 kW Electric Motor Driving thought the Drive shaft to the rear end differential, and that is still a lot of gears, but no Tranny, as such!

        Plust their ‘Fuel Economy’ chart – is based on a single charge a day – with no ‘opportunity charging’ while out! It could benefit though – from a CHAdeMO port! Maybe a Quick Charge Power ‘JdeMo’ add-in would do the trick! http://www.quickchargepower.com/

        1. Rick Danger says:

          Robert, Clarkson wasn’t talking about the VIA having a transmission, he was referring to all the regular gassers out there with them.

    3. no comment says:

      proof of what a terrible idea the BMW i3-rex implementation is can be found in the fact that the i3-rex is a much lighter car than the Volt but gets no better fuel economy. the reason: the i3-rex model of using a generator to generate electricity and then using the generated electricity to drive the car is not very efficient. the reason why GM went with an implementation that allows the ICE to engage the drive train is that the Volt was engineered to operate in the most efficient manner.

      the other drawback to the i3-rex implementation is that when the generator cannot generate enough electricity to maintain the current speed, you can get a rapid and possibly unexpected drop in speed so that the electricity usage rate matches the rate of electricity generation by the generator.

      while the Volt is not the best car from the perspective of the hardcore EV enthusiast, it is the best engineered and most practical EV car for the general public. the biggest problem facing the Volt is that EVs are still a niche market, but upside potential for the Volt in the general market is much greater than that of other EVs because it requires drivers to make the least change from familiar driving habits.

    4. Like_Budda says:

      You obviously don’t have a clue what you are talking about. In reality there is very few ex-GM people in the management team at VIA other than Lutz. They are quite diverse actually. The only “deal” they get from GM is they are permitted to “sell back” RWD transmission assemblies to the GM factory in Mexico

  4. Bill Howland says:

    2 Big things I don’t understand about Via…

    1). Why is their website so perpetually inaccurate, and why do the ‘specs’ of the vehicles constantly change about important things, such as 4 6 or 8 cyliders?

    2). Why are their production numbers (both of types of vehicles converted (no suv any longer), and absolute numbers so low? They cannot even meet up with fleet demand. Even Tesla could hand convert 2500 lotus elise’s prior to having a factory.

    1. M Hovis says:

      Probably more impressive is that they have maintained the smoke and mirrors for so long. I am a Lutz/Via fan, but definitely stuff happening a lot bumpier than they would like. I am honestly surprised that all the gen 1 EVs turned out so well, from your Roadster, Volt, and LEAF etc. The Roadster being the oldest and you can and have told us things they missed but still pretty darn good for straight out of the gate. I guess Fisker really missed the worse. Via at least seemed to control their overhead to keep the boat afloat until they get the kinks worked out. I am sure a lot of their problems are not even related to the conversion itself. Time will tell, but I still cheer for their success.
      And what else would they drive???

      1. ffbj says:

        Right. Well the Volt was Bob Lutz’s baby, and now that he is head of VIA Motors, so:
        “What else would they drive?” Exactly. Though maybe a Tesla Model D, but only in insane mode, for you would have to be truly insane to do so.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Well Mark, their management structure seems to change every few months or more often, almost as bad as the musical chairs they used to play at GM, (“I went from vice president of Headrests to now I are an engineer!”).

        Being over 80 years old, I’d doubt Lutz is that concerned about the money, since soon enough it won’t do him any good. But the other execs I have the sneaking suspicion they’re just gonna get while they can and then BOLT. Lutz is no dummy.. If that is going on he must see through it. So he must also see the lack of vehicles. Perhaps he is not high up enough for real that he can’t knock heads together as he could at GM with the VOLT. I know Lutz personally changed design themes when the ‘designers’ came up with Stuff Lutz didn’t think would fly, like oddly fitting touch screens and double wide gear shifts.

        1. Like_Budda says:

          Bill, there mangament team HAS NOT been “changing” In reality they have been adding levels of management as needed while they are moving forward past product developmental stages. Show me one ling where it lists someone leaving VIA and were replaced. You won’t be able to because at the auto-exec level all they have done is hired necessary expertise that they previously didn’t employ. This is all pretty clearly outlined on their web-page and media press releases.

      3. Bill Howland says:

        I remember I had issues with the S-UMC package when it first came out about being designed by an incompetant.

        Well, that was ‘genius level work’ compared to Fisker.

        1). Not putting a fuse in the radiator fan motor circuit (not even a fusible link) was just ASKING for multiple fires, which occurred.

        2). Test drove the Fisker twice, and the inverter would ‘COG’ at slow speeds. Obviously not a finished design. They need ONE engineer to fix both problems. But apparently 10 MANAGERS were not bright enough to spot it, or the big trouble it would cause.

    2. Like_Budda says:

      What you need to understand is many of the specification changes was due to the changes in the GM product they are using as the basis for their product. So originally they were using the smallest V8 engine available in the trucks/vans, but as the GM platform changed from GMT900 to K2XX they were forced to “shift gears” and re-engineer quite a bit of content. It’s not as easy to just “drop” whatever you want in there as the VIA systems have to play nice with significant changes to the new truck’s electrical architecture and networking.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        I hear the words Buddah but I still get the gut reaction something is wrong.

        Item: Why is their Web Site so lousy? For a long time they were saying the ‘power export’ would be , at one and the same time, ’15 kw, and 240 volts and 30 amps’. That is impossible unless the output was 240 Volt VEE/416 Volt , which, if you looked at the photos of the twist locks, they were not.

        Item: Totally discontinuing the Via Presidential (SUV).

        Item: In causual discussions, changing the battery sizes all the time (admittedly not one of Bob Lutz’s strong points – but then again he doesn’t seem as intimately involved here at VIA as he was with the Volt).

        If everything is ok as you say, then they are just ramping things up R E A L L Y S L O W L Y . Time will tell.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Oh, and then as far as charging went, they used to always say,

          “Plug – IN using a standard 110 volt outlet, or plug into 220 or use a charging Doc for 1/2 the time”.

          That would imply a 3.3 kw charger at best. Now , their website says they’re using a 6.6 kw charger.

          Now, you may say these are just detsils, but THAT IS MY WHOLE POINT.

          I’ve never seen these things other than the few photos they’ve released. Since they MAKE these things, shouldn’t it be easy for them to get the info str8 on the website, and for one thing, not constantly change it or have contradictory info ON THE SAME WEBSITE.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            They used to say ‘650 volt high tech battery’. Now they have a smaller generator and a BIGGER engine, with a 350 volt battery.

            Since they buy all this junk from REMY, can’t the people at REMY and the sole engineer (they can’t have as many as 2 from all these simple mistakes) at VIA, decide what power – plant they are using, and stick with it?

            I understand your point that the 1960 Suburban is different than the 2015 suburban, and they might, in 55 years time, have to change the “erev engine”.

            In my state, I have seen personally 2 different EV conversions, and one of those was by someone, who by their own admission, knew anything about electricity. The other was a 150 mile conversion by someone who obviously knew more.

            If VIA has as many ‘Doers’ as ‘Managers’, I’d think they could start producing a few models, not discontinuing Suburbans before they actually exist.

  5. ggpa says:

    All VIA Motors Execs Drive Chevy Volts because VIA motors is a hoax.

    VIA has been working on this since 2009 or 2010, putting out PR, opening a large scale manufacturing facility, but I have not seen an independent review/test of their vehicles. Do these things actually work????

    I forgot to mention the fictional savings calculator on their website.

    1. kdawg says:

      LOL @ the Vaporware comments. It’s not 2007 anymore.

      1. ggpa says:

        kdawg

        Two posts from you on this page, and in both cases I cannot figure out what point you are trying to make.

        Your first post might just be in the wrong place. The second is more confusing.

        1. kdawg says:

          The first comment was in reply to someone suggesting “VIA gets major discounts from GM” because of the execs.

          From what I’ve read, VIA is buying fully assembled trucks from GM. They are not gliders. VIA has to remove the power train and install their own.

          As far as VIA being a hoax, I don’t think they would be delivering vehicles to fleet customers if they were a hoax. It’s kinda hard to say something doesn’t exist when it actually does.

          1. ggpa says:

            Kdawg, in that case, let me make a correction.

            Via trucks are so bad that even their management do not want to drive them.

            And the savings they claim is a complete hoax (or fiction) if you want. Which is why they have a unbelievable calculator on their website, and they do not allow any independent test or even public real world test data.

            Are you satisfied now?

            1. kdawg says:

              That’s quite a leap to say their trucks are horrible because execs aren’t driving them. VIA is only doing fleet sales ATM, but sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder regarding them anyway.

              1. ggpa says:

                Kdawg … I have a disdain for companies that put out dubious press releases like $80M orders but there is no evidence that any product is delivered. Even a year later!

                I find it odd that smart people, like yourself, repeat this PR without realizing it is BS.

                I will take Via seriously when you can point me to an thorough review of one of their vehicles by an independent, respected journalist.

    2. Like_Budda says:

      This is a load of crapola. You clearly know very little about VIA or what they have, or havnt done. You armchair CEO’s need to check your facts.

      1. ggpa says:

        Like_Budda, please enlighten the rest of us with what you know.

        There is no independent data on the Via trucks. If they had good news to share about their trucks, they would not be hiding it. And people would actually be buying the trucks.

      2. ggpa says:

        Please share your “crapola”, and let us see if it is better than mine.

          1. ggpa says:

            That PR was sent out 1 year ago. And how many have been delivered?

            Every month insideevs.com lists all plug in vehicle sales ….

            1. kdawg says:

              Not fleet sales.

              1. kdawg says:

                Here’s a VIA Fedex Van
                https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=784345791604124

                Here’s one delivered to a power company.
                https://www.linkedin.com/groups/VIA-Motors-proudly-delivers-one-4319280.S.5922429257333616642

                Delivery to air force base
                http://insideevs.com/via-motors-delivers-first-2-electric-vans-to-la-air-force-base/

                And a bunch of vans waiting to be elctrified
                http://insideevs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/new-vans-ready-to-be-electrified-for-VIA.jpg

                Perusing through these articles I’ve noticed any VIA article you typically throw turds. Not sure why the angst.

                1. ggpa says:

                  Kdawg

                  Instead of making personal attacks, using words like “angst”, “turds” and “chips on shoulders”, please try a new approach, please use facts.

                  And when you find any independently verifiable facts about VIA vehicles, I am sure many people would love to read them.

                  In the interim, repeating their PR (which contain more hype and BS than fact) does nothing to educate the readers here.

                  I find it funny that the most successful EV company, Tesla, does not report sales. And all of us hope they would. But the Via pretenders have news releases when they sell even tiny numbers. And brag about an $80M order … did they deliver any?

                  1. kdawg says:

                    I’m sorry you’re taking my comments as “personal attacks”, but I did present you with several facts (and that was a 5min search). So we are just to assume all of these people are actors and this is all staged? Again, I don’t know why you have such a problem with VIA Motors. You seem to go out of your way to try to discredit them. Maybe Inside EVs can get in interview w/VIA and we can get some hard #’s to appease you.

                    1. ggpa says:

                      LOL Kdawg, after apologizing for personal attacks, you immediately you accuse me again of having a problem with them.

                      The only problem I can see is that you are unable to verify any of their claims. What you presented are not facts, just their PR claims, with no substantiation.

                      I hope you come to realize that I did not throw turds, I simply pointed them out in Via’s PR.

                      If you elect to believe all their claims, you will probably also have a lot of fun reading the National Enquirer.

                      On the other hand, I can identify some of their statements as BS, which makes me wonder whether I should believe the others.

                      I am sure you have been unable to dig up any performance data, independent reviews or anything, because you would have shown this to shut me up.

                    2. kdawg says:

                      So actual video of a Fed Ex truck in the wild is not a fact that it exists?

                      Or the power company buying a VIA Van, this is a false hoax?

                      So you’re saying you *don’t* have a problem with VIA, but you think their statements are BS. This thought seems to be at odds w/itself.

                      When I go to the Detroit Auto Show, I’ll try to ask some questions, but the people in the booths during the general public question portion don’t usually know more than the basics.

                    3. ggpa says:

                      Kdawg, if I say Via’s PR is BS, that is not personal. Nothing is at odds there.

                      Please see long reply below.

                      Also you made a claim about fleet sales excluded from monthly reports. Are you sure about that?

    3. Justin W. says:

      Well, according to her FB update, Chelsea Sexton just got picked up and taken to the Auto Show in a VIA Van so I guess they work. lol

      1. ggpa says:

        Thanks Justin, that means they have at least one prototype working. Just like Tesla has a few model X’s …

        I am sure you googled and showed me the best technical information you could find. Which is …

        Here is a 2012 link where they talked about building 20,000 trucks in 2013. I wonder how that went.

        Vtrux is lots PR and little substance.

  6. EV says:

    Im pretty sure Tesla has received the highest amount of praise possible.

    When the guy that makes one of the fastest hypercars on the planet says that the tesla is the best car you can buy that’s uncomparable praise… and the fact that he drives a model s daily and doesnt even own his own car

  7. kubel says:

    They are closer to a partner than a competitor, so saying all their executives drive Volts isn’t a mystery. All of their vehicles are GM-based products, and many on their team are ex-GM employees or active GM employees that are consulting for them. Their chairman pretty much made the Volt happen.

    Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find these are corporate cars. Leases. At the company I work for, all the executives drive Explorers. That’s not because they all happened to go out and choose Explorers. It’s because they got a bulk deal, it was either an Explorer or nothing, and they are practical vehicles that can be very nicely equipped without insulting the workers there that park in the same lot, make $11/hr, and drive beat up old ex-police cars. Of course they love them, they are free. And like the Explorer, they aren’t half bad and can probably be well equipped without tipping their hand.

  8. Phr3d says:

    I seem to recall an article about ex-Microsoft executive Steve Balmer ‘converting everyone on his newly purchased basketball team from iPads to MS Surface Pros. Balmer was heavily involved if not instrumental in the invention of the Surface (and win8 to support it).

    I seem to recall that everyone on the team that had converted ‘loved them’.

    fwiw.

  9. ggpa says:

    Kdawg (also Justin and Like_Budda)

    Take a deep breath, and step back a little.

    Three years ago in this link we can read that Via announced their truck, and started accepting orders, and that they could do thousands of deliveries in 2012 and beyond … http://www.viamotors.com/news/fuelefficienttrucks/.

    Now think back three years ago. There was no RAV4 EV, no Honda EV, no BMW i3. In fact, this is before Model S started shipping.

    And what has Via achieved in the 3 years since then?????

    Kdawg found a $80M order but no deliveries. Kdawg found a handful of other deliveries. Not even double digits. Those could be prototypes, and you have zero news about how well they ever worked, or whether they still exist. You found zero journalists writing “I spent a week with Vtrux and this is what I experienced”.

    Compare that to Model S. What is all the information abou model S consisted of a handful of PR releases? Do you think Tesla could be bothered to issue a PR release for every delivery? Would you have taken them seriously if they did that?

    Compare Via with how many independent reports can you find about Model S. Or even compare them to other low volume EVs like Fisker or e-NV200 or Xebra?

    Today, yes today, GM is revealing the Volt 2.0. Before long, there will be independent reports from journalists who drove the new Volt and tell us about it. When do you expect a similar story about Vtrux? It has been more than 3 years!!!

    America is in love with trucks. Think how well trucks sell here. Think how many reports you can reads about all kinds of trucks. All of them except one. Somehow there is no information about Vtrux. There is the red flag.

    Trust me, if they had good news about these trucks, they would publish it. Trust me, if these trucks performed well, we would know about it.

    Guys please step back and look at the big picture. There is clearly something rotten in the state of Via. Maybe you cannot see it yet. But you should be smelling it already.

    But, please prove me wrong, find independent reports that explain how well Vtrux work. Please link them here. I am not holding my breath.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Well said ggpa..

      From the getgo, their Website had contradictory information in it years ago.

      Since it is easy to edit characters (except here, hehe) I seriously wondered about a new company who couldn’t even design a consistant Brouchure.

      I have even seen the Transit Connect EV, which a friend purchased at a HUGE DISCOUNT, prior to its elimination.

      The vehicle had appeared for sale to the public with minimal press releases, and to be fair, the vehicle does work, although the electric parts of the car are not integrated at all with the rest of the van; as an example, once you start charging the Van (at 3.3 kw – the only charger available), you only know it is done by the charger docking station kicking off, as there is absolutely no indication on the vehicle itself!!!

      But at least, the vehicle DID exist, owners who bought the thing CAN use it, and charge it (slowly), and drive it. But it was a flash-in-the-pan and now its gone.

      So what you say makes much sense to these ears.

      1. ggpa says:

        Thanks Bill, agree with you 100%.

        Note to Kdawg, here is an independent review of Transit Connect EV … http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sns-car-review-2012-ford-transit-connect-electric-20120125-story.html

        1. kdawg says:

          What does Ford’s Transit Connect have to do with VIA Motors?

          1. ggpa says:

            Kdawg … You are right, Ford Transit Connect is different than Via, because Transit Connect actually exists 😉

            1. kdawg says:

              I guess I’ll just pencil you in for “VIA = Vaporware”.

              1. ggpa says:

                As usual, your guess is incorrect.

                Are you having a bad day? I noticed you picked arguments with everybody on http://insideevs.com/op-ed-chevrolet-bolt-makes-200-mile-30000-electric-car-reality-sorry-tesla/

                1. kdawg says:

                  So when a company says it has a product, and you say that their product doesn’t exist, that’s not a Vaporware argument?

                  1. ggpa says:

                    Kdawg … Did you read this page? Entirely? If so, I hope you are acting dumb but I fear that it might be something else.

                    Wise people know to be skeptical about uncorroborated claims. I have nothing against Via except that no independent data confirms their claims.

                    If you read “All the President’s Men” you will learn about the important of a second source for a story.

                    Please do not forget to link to any evidence you find about Via, and be sure to let us know what you learn about them at the Detroit Auto Show.

                    Learn to keep an open mind, and like I said, “please prove me wrong”.

                    1. kdawg says:

                      Here you go

                      http://www.autonews.com/article/20150113/OEM05/150119866/via-motors-delivering-hybrid-fleet-trucks-lutz-says

                      “VIA Motors just delivered the first 40 plug-in gasoline-electric hybrid work trucks to fleet customers. Another 200 units of retrofitted Chevrolet Express vans are in transit.”

                    2. ggpa says:

                      Kdawg, thanks for the link. Please keep on searching and adding more links.

                      It is a hopeful new development, but like the $80M order (since debunked) and Fedex picture, it still gets nowhere close to the standard of “independent review”.

                    3. kdawg says:

                      I may sign up for a free shuttle in Detroit tomorrow. If I do, I’ll give you my independent review. I’ve seen them in flesh driving around, just never been inside.

          2. Bill Howland says:

            Perhaps I was unclear: The Ford Transit Connect EV, even though essentially a plain TC modified by a ‘tuner’ was offered for sale in quantity such that normal middle class people or mom and pop businesses could purchase one. They expressly waited AFTER making a few before discontinuing them, something that the VIA Presidential cannot say.