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VIA Motors Receives EPA Certification For eREV Van

3 years ago by Mark Kane 39

VIA Motors eREV Vans

VIA Motors eREV Vans

First VIA Motors eREV vans delivered

First VIA Motors eREV vans delivered

VIA Motors announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified VIA’s eREV Van – the latest series plug-in hybrid (called Extended Range Electric Vehicle) on the market.

This EPA certification does not include EPA range ratings or MPG data.  Rather, it’s the EPA signing off on VIA’s EREV van, thus allowing sales nationwide, even to the public if VIA chooses to do so.

According to VIA Motors, its proprietary V-DRIVE powertrain delivers up to 40-mile battery range and unlimited extended range, averaging over 100 miles-per-gallon in typical daily driving.

With the green light from EPA, 23 units were already delivered to customers with another 3 in transit. More deliveries are coming soon.

VIA Motors CEO Pablo Acedo stated:

“We see our eREV vehicles as an important part of the fleets of the future. This all-important EPA certification validates our concept of integrating VIA’s proprietary powertrain into OEM vehicles to deliver both economical and clean vehicle solutions,”.

“This is just the beginning. We are very excited about many other major milestones on the horizon as we continue to fulfill the needs of our major fleet customers with VIA VTRUX vans and trucks.”

VIA Motors Chairman Bob Lutz, father of the Chevy Volt and former Vice Chairman of GM, added:

“If we are going to see main stream adoption of electric vehicles, the technology must deliver a good return on investment to the largest segment of the auto business, namely trucks and vans. That’s why I am so confident in VIA and proudly serve as Chairman.”

VIA Motors eREV Van

VIA Motors eREV Van

VIA Motors eREV Van

VIA Motors eREV Van

Spec:

Specifications eREV Van
All Electric Range 35 miles
Extended Range 350 miles
Drive 2WD
Traction Motor Torque 415 Nm peak 210 Nm continuous
Generator Power 150 kW peak 100 kW continuous
Power Export Inverter Up to 14.4 kW
Power Export Voltage 120 & 240 VAC 60 Hz
Charge Input 120 or 240 V
Lithium Ion Batteries 23 kWh
Battery Voltage 350 Volt
Chassis 3/4 Ton
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) 8,600 lbs
Payload Capacity 2,800 lbs (2,000 for passenger configuration)

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39 responses to "VIA Motors Receives EPA Certification For eREV Van"

  1. Mike says:

    For any fleet that makes a modest effort to calculate it’s yearly fuel cost this should be a no-brainer.

  2. Mark C says:

    More than one article on VIA eTrucks says they have up to 40 miles battery range. The articles I refer to all had the images similar to this one. Those images say up to 35 miles. The disconnect seems odd to me.

    I hope they do well, but I don’t think they will last if/when the market for electric pickups and vans becomes fairly strong. That would be when the OEM’s start to build their own BEV’s and leave Via without any gliders to build their conversions off of.

    1. Anthony says:

      The electric range has fluctuated over the years – same with the battery pack size (I believe the first tests had a pack size of 32kWh). So depending on how old the images are, they might say different ranges as VIA developed the product.

    2. Chris K says:

      You’d have to imagaine that with Lutz’s tie in with GM and the Voltec technology, that VIA hopes to prove this works and then GM would buy them up. I mean they are buying Silverados and Express vans from Chevrolet, taking out the powertrain and putting in the Voltec system, which they also buy from GM. Costs would come way down on these vehicles once GM sees the light here.

      1. kdawg says:

        It’s not the Voltec system. It’s one they developed with Remy.

  3. Jesse Gurr says:

    This is interesting from the VIA Q&A part of website.

    “Q: Where would I get my VIA Motors vehicle maintenance done?
    A: All VIA Motors vehicles will be serviced by a Chevrolet dealership. We are proud of our Chevrolet Authorized Service Network and are confident you’ll enjoy their highest level of service and support.”

    So VIA doesn’t even need to hire techs to work on these vehicles for maintenance, just use the local Chevy dealership. Interesting.

  4. kdawg says:

    “thus allowing sales nationwide, even to the public if VIA chooses to do so.”
    ———
    Didn’t VIA say you would be able to order their vehicles through participating GM dealerships?

    1. Jesse Gurr says:

      They do have a list of dealers on their website under the contact us menu at the top.

  5. JackDFW says:

    I wonder what the price is per van?

    Also if the engine is just a generator and does not drive the wheels why do they use a V8? Seems like overkill.

    1. kdawg says:

      All I could see was a price of $752/month to lease their truck.

    2. mustang_sallad says:

      They probably use a V8 because that’s what comes with the “glider”.

      1. kdawg says:

        I believe they remove the engine that comes with the car. They do not buy gliders, but complete vehicles.

        1. mustang_sallad says:

          hence my use of quotation marks!

    3. Taser54 says:

      It was going to be a V6 but the new V8 was more efficient, not overkill at all.

      1. Taser54 says:

        Correction. In the van, the smallest engine available is the 4.8l V8. In the Truck, the 4.3l V6 is available.

        Via use the standard engine that came with each vehicle, rather than shoehorn a different range extender.

        Anyhow, plenty of power to 1. generate exportable power 2. carry cargo

        1. kdawg says:

          Are you sure they use the same engine? I thought when they described their Mexico plant with 8 stations, one of the stations removed all of the powertrain components.

          1. Taser54 says:

            Yes. Via simply removes the transmission and keeps the engine available with the van or truck.

            Earlier they had thought about using a 4 cylinder but decided against it. Minimal changes are probably best for servicability.

    4. Jesse Gurr says:

      Before it was taken down from the website, the estimated price was about $80,000. You do qualify for the $7,500 federal tax write off.

      1. MTN Ranger says:

        Supposedly, the $79,000 price was for fleet purchases, meaning multiple unit orders. We have no idea if/when they plan retail sales.

    5. Stuart22 says:

      Why a V8? My guess is that it has to do with the 4 tons of mass it has to deal with.

  6. Phr3d says:

    Still confused at not going diesel for something like a generator – massive torque perfectly matched to load, and NVM based upon only Ever running one speed. Add the typical life-span, and suddenly $80k and ultra high mpg, ultra low maintenance seems like a gift.
    clueless, me..

    1. Open-Mind says:

      In CS mode, my Volt engine is frequently starting and stopping and changing RPM. If VIA is similar, then this is not a constant-run constant-RPM application.

      Gasoline engines are quieter, relatively lightweight for their power output, rev freely and to higher rpm, are more compact, have a lower initial cost, and are usually cheaper to maintain. They also start easier in cold weather, warm up faster, and come with less emission-compliance hassles. Diesel fuel also costs a lot more than gasoline.

      1. Phr3d says:

        I humbly disagree with nearly every point, as the viewpoint seems based upon what makes an ICE work for a car that must deal with myriad variables.
        Diesel generators have been around a Long time, relatively maintenance free, minimum size and weight as they are dedicated to One job, NVM dedicated to the one speed that they run at. Cold -should- be even easier to accomodate using electricity to heat the fuel in extreme cold, start-stop can’t be too much of an issue as they have been used for decades in exactly this application, just not in motion.
        Agreed about emissions being a problem, but still much simpler when the device is dedicated to a Single mission, rather than near infinite variables.
        But as I always say, better minds have studied this and have discarded diesel as the correct path, just seems a vehicle with Twice the weight would be a better candidate.

  7. Aaron says:

    This one IS an EREV. It’s not a plug-in hybrid. Only the electric motor is connected to the drivetrain. The ICE only runs a generator, like the i3 and Karma. It does not have the ability to turn the drivetrain like the Volt.

    1. Mark H says:

      Let it go Aaron

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      Really?

      So you are the expert on EREV now?

      Why does the type of REX matters whether it is EREV or NOT?

      It is the “EV” portion that matters in defining whether it is EREV or NOT.

      Who makes you an expert on EREV?

      1. Lustuccc says:

        Are you kidding?
        These VIA vehicles are pure serial hybrids, Much more powerful when adequately designed (unlike the i3).

        Volt is not. It is basically a parallel hybrid with additionnal computer driven serial modes of operations.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Your ignorance is laughable.

          The Volt is every bit an EREV, with an additional patented mode to increase efficiency over an EREV when desirable, without sacrificing any performance or electric feel.

          If you’d rather argue semantics just so you can burn more gas, you’re missing the point.

          1. Lustuccc says:

            Yours is sad, but understandable as GM made his antimarketing campain to make believe that the Volt was an all electric with a simple disconnected range extender. It is not.
            See for yourself.

            http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/features/how-the-2011-chevrolet-volt-works.html

            The 2016 model will use even more of parallel modes.

            1. Bonaire says:

              Parallel? Tell that to Volt owner ari_c who had driven 50,000 gas free miles in his Volt until his service guy ran the engine for a little short drive ruining his string of miles. Volt is more serial+ than anything. I have done 1000 mile plus stints of driving without gas.

              1. ggpa says:

                Bonaire … The Volt has a parallel hybrid mode, whether you use that mode or not. Likewise it is a 4-seater, even if you always travel by yourself.

              2. Lustuccc says:

                Take a look at the pictures on the Edmunds link. It is a parallel drive train. Now if the computer unclutch the ICE until the depletion of the batteries, it behave like a full electric for a while… but it is not.
                And it is not a serial hybrid since the ICE is also used to turn the wheels : parallel behavior.

                1. ClarksonCote says:

                  You’re borderline crazy. You keep referencing these Edmunds pictures, without understanding them.

                  When you floor the accelerator, the Volt operates in series mode. It is capable of providing all the power it needs in series mode.

                  But when you don’t need full power, it saves gas by using the mode you continue to ridicule without an understanding of how it works.

  8. Bill Howland says:

    Well, diesels aren’t the “clean green” solution they’ve been advertised to be what with the particulates expelled.

    We need a review of an ACTUAL VAN to see what is really in there, since the Website keeps changing and some of their numbers don’t add up unless you assume 480 volts for power export which in the states for any tradesman is rather useless since their power tools will run on 120, and their welder on 240.

    And they’ve had battery voltages from 350-650 and engines from 4,6, or 8 cylinders. So hopefully, this is a SMALL 8.

    I don’t understand what is taking them so long to ramp up production. They certainly go through upper echelon personel in a hurry, rather like GM did prior to bankruptcy.

    The inaccurate, and constantly changing data on the website over the years has made me shy away from VIA. If the website people cannot consult with whatever engineering or techs they have, then it makes me wonder what other little problems will pop up.

    1. ggpa says:

      +1

      “We need a review of an ACTUAL VAN to see what is really in there”

      Agreed. Via has been advertising for years, but I have not seen a detailed independent review

  9. ggpa says:

    It would be great to see a real world comparison between this van an a cheaper hybrid conversion such as http://www.xlhybrids.com/

    1. mustang_sallad says:

      Very big difference there – more than an order of magnitude difference in battery capacity between these two options. You could say that comparison is close to a Volt vs a non-plug-in Prius, except, of course, for the fact that these are trucks, and that they’re made by 3rd party companies! But you’re right, in the real world, there are likely applications where a non-plug-in Prius is a better choice than a Volt, but I think those are a pretty small minority of applications.

      1. ggpa says:

        “that comparison is close to a Volt vs a non-plug-in Prius” … Nope. It is more like i3 Rex vs Prius.

        In Via, like Rex there is never a mechanical link between engine and drive wheels.

        And there are many applications where Prius beats i3 Rex.

    2. LuStuccc says:

      Interesting technology. Thanks!

Comments are closed.