VIA Motors Video Highlights Plans For 2015 (Updated)

2 years ago by Electric CarsTV 22

VIA Motors – The Time is Now from VIA Motors on Vimeo.

VIA claims that 2015 will be a breakout year for the automaker responsible for EREV conversions.

Notable for 2015 is the launch of the VIA EREV Chevrolet Silverado and sales to the general public of both its EREV van and the EREV Silverado truck.

Here’s a highlight reel video of what VIA has in store for 2015.

Update (Thurs, June 19th – 2:07pm):  VIA Motors has contacted us to say they have pulled the YouTube video that was originally in this post (above) and offered the above replacement/updated version in its place.

VIA EREV Silverado

VIA EREV Silverado

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22 responses to "VIA Motors Video Highlights Plans For 2015 (Updated)"

  1. Robb Stark says:

    So what is the AER on the Crew Cab P/U?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Supposedly 40-50 miles, which is about right considering a 23-24 kwh battery.

  2. scottf200 says:

    Could the roll out of this thing be *any* slower. Seems like we’ve been following it for years with barely any movement. It has such potential.

    1. Anthony says:

      I’ve been following VIA Motors since they were part of Razer Technologies and working on doing low-temperature geothermal stuff that really didn’t work out for them.

  3. Speculawyer says:

    VIA motors seems kinda crazy. If the actually manage to become somewhat successful then Ford, GM, and Chrysler will just start building truck PHEVs in house.

    1. David Murray says:

      I’ve wondered exactly the same thing.

    2. Robb Stark says:

      What Many Moe and Jack offer in regards to AER Via can always double. Or even go fully electrified. Always occupying a niche above what the OEMs are willing to offer.

      Or like AMG, maybe the plan is to be eventually purchased by GM. Make VIA a sub brand for electrified trucks and maybe cheaper that redoing the engineering.

      1. David Murray says:

        I wondered about that too.. but Honestly, I can’t see that VIA has anything that GM needs. If they (or Ford) decided to build an EREV truck or van, they already have all of the technology they need. And they’d manufacture them right on the main assembly line to reduce costs. So they certainly don’t need any of the shops that VIA has.

  4. HVACman says:

    Every year has been the “break out” year for Via. Is Via using an EEstor energy pack, perchance?

    1. James says:

      The barrier is the cost of the battery pack. This is no secret. I have zero idea why some of you guys are asking, “hey, why or when is VIA going to be a big deal?”. VIATRUX are expensive. Try $85,000 expensive.

      GM can make this a division easily. They can just make these trucks themselves very easily. GM invented the EREV architecture VIA uses. The reason they don’t is that simply making the same large trucks and vans they have been since the 1950s are very profit-heavy. So this is easy money for Ford and GM vs. retooling and “re-inventing the wheel”. I’m sure many at GM just want to buy VIA Motors and just bury it. VIA makes them look bad.

      What is sad is that if GM made 300,000 of these per year to sell to the public in all 50 states, the price would plummet to around what people now pay for a semi-loaded double cab truck ( $50,000 ). If you’re shocked that many are paying $50,000 for a pickup truck, so am I – but it’s true.

      Economies of scale is the only thing that can make these trucks available to you and me. Sure, there would have to be new battery factories to supply demand – that is going to happen anyway. So why not take the lead and finally wrestle the fullsized pickup truck market away from Ford who has owned this market for 20 years?

      Don’t be puzzled by VIA Motors. Be puzzled by GM, and why they strive to build an aluminum-bodied truck and not build this truck instead. In fact – just think of the increased range of this truck with an aluminum body!

      1. Lensman says:

        James, you started well by correctly stating “The barrier is the cost of the battery pack.” So why ignore that reality in the rest of your post?

        Neither UPS nor FedEX have made any major move to using EVs for delivery trucks. Both only have test programs. When it makes economic sense to use an EV for hauling loads for hours every day, you can be sure both those companies will start buying EV trucks rapidly. That would be a signal that perhaps the EV revolution has progressed to the point that mass producing an EV pickup makes sense.

        EV pickups will need large battery packs. Oversized pickups will need even larger ones. Right now, if GM produced an EV pickup, either it would be so expensive nobody would buy it, or else the electric range would be too small to be worthy of the “EV” label.

        Per-kWh prices for batteries need to come down somewhat further than they already have, before mass producing EV pickups makes sense.

  5. Kosh says:

    would at least be better if they could just get a “rolling chassis” from GM and skip having to gut the drivetrain out of them.

  6. Bill Howland says:

    I have a really healthy skepticism toward via.

    First they discontinue their SUV product before even making it.

    Then, EVEN AT THIS LATE DATE, they can’t get basic technical info in the ads correct:

    14.4kw is not 30 amps at 240 volts.

    As far as I can see, the company doesn’t make anything but VIA escuteon plates.

    Motor, Generator, and Inverter from REMY – they are finally firming up which sizes and voltages they are using.

    Vehicles and engines from GM.

    Batteries from whomever.

    Apparently, some of this is working since I would hope we’d hear about the horror stories if these things were constantly malfunctioning, so that’s a plus.

    But in the end, they are basically another truck ‘tuner’, and there is a t least one company also getting into their act.

    The video talks about ‘2 motors’. Their drivetrain shows only one. So the only way that is reconciled is they have one model for the van and another for the truck.

    So there’s too much mystery here for me to invest any money in them. With Lutz as Chairman, you’d think he could knock a few heads together to get the show on the road, or at least make the advertising accurate.

    Since Lutz absolutely joins those of us who think “Carbon Footprints” are a cruel joke, it would be much more honest of him to edit those ‘features’ out of Via Advertising, even when given as 3rd-party testimonials.
    I respect a person more when he is consistant and honest in his beliefs, even though its definitely a minority view in this forum.

    1. James says:

      Bill, your healthy skepticism is directed to the wrong people.

      Direct your skepticism to GM. They are well aware their ex vice president is Chairman of the Board at VIA. They know what VIA does, and they certainly are aware that VIA’s tech is basically a truck version of Volt. So why does GM sit on their hands and wish VIA dies a slow death ( OK, a quick death! )? Because GM is still an ICE truck company who happens to also sell CUVs and sedans.

      Read my commentary just above yours – find flaws in my logic if you will. But it’s absolutely true that GM could build these trucks and they would sell very very well at a price many could afford. As it is – VIA is hogtied trying to sell this truck at well over $80,000. I would buy one tomorrow if I won the Lotto. The Tahoe/big SUV is just a Silverado with a station wagon back welded on. The only real market for VIA now is fleet services. It’s just not financially viable for them to do the Tahoes now.

    2. James says:

      The “2nd electric motor” you say isn’t there is the VR-150, 150 kwh generator. This constitutes 2 motors. It’s nearly the exact system found on the Volt.

      If doubtful go to http://www.viamotors.com/powertrain

      1. Bill Howland says:

        Oh, ok right you are that this VR-150 device is a ‘motor’.

        In any event, the primary purpose of this motor (since they’d never mislabel it) is to start the engine in case the real starter motor fails. I’m unsure if the actual engines GM supplies have their starters, solenoids, and ring gears removed. Any you can never have too much redundancy.

        I guess since its a truck it must have an engine in it to look and sound nice and it provides no other functionality. Thanks for clearing this up for me.

        Of course, if someone were actually expecting this engine to DO something useful, we might need a generator sooner or later.

        The main drive motor could have been called a generator or the more universal dynamo since they are both that at times. But a generator is usually assumed to be just that.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Yup, 4 tires, a battery, and ‘motors’. Almost identical.

          I don’t consider a 23 kwh battery super huge nor expensive since a lot of compact ev’s have the same thing.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Ahem!

            To be serious for a second, VIA saying the thing has 2 motors in it has to mean 1 gas and 1 electric.

            Rather as you might say just before bedtime, “Honey – time to get your motor running”.

  7. James says:

    If this truck were available on the consumer market from an OEM at $50,000, I’d buy one in a New York minute. Why? No range anxiety, room for my family of four plus one passenger and utility like nothing else. I live in an area with many power outages, and I maintain property I own and would love an electric power source for tools!

    A garage with this truck and a Volt would take care of all my EV needs and I may never even have to be concerned if Tesla ever gets to Model III or not. The solar bed cover is a fantastic idea!

    The van would make a great RV conversion from Sportsmobile http://www.sportsmobile.com with their pop-up roof for stand up headroom. Nice thing about a van over a truck is nearly the same utility and no need for a not-so-secure fiberglass canopy to secure your cargo or sports equipment.

  8. pjkPA says:

    Hey bob… get Mexicans to buy them.. when you build them in the US .. call me.

    1. Bill Howland says:

      Hehe, yeah, they pay the Mexicans a $1 an hour and then charge $85,000 for it.

      Seems like someone could come out with a 4 cylinder, 25 kwh battery, 75 horsepower motor basic pickup truck for around $40,000.

      Utilities and fleets could use these things since the companies don’t care about 0-60 and only some would even care if the thing can do 65 mph. Besides, running a motor at it rating long time is not as stressful as doing the same thing for the gas engine, and here, with a 25 kwh battery, the engine wouldn’t run much, and in city driving it wouldn’t run much anyway. And it would get 100 mpg and it would go 40-50 miles in nice weather.

      Those VW microbuses held 7-11 people or about 2200 lbs or cargo , with a 50 hp engine, and people loved them.

      I don’t think people need jack rabbit starts in ALL PHEV’s, and would be willing to sacrifice a bit of performance for longer range and a lower price tag. I know I would.

  9. Bill Howland says:

    HAHA Ok I’m impressed Mr. Lutz:

    “…Since Lutz absolutely joins those of us who think “Carbon Footprints” are a cruel joke, it would be much more honest of him to edit those ‘features’ out of Via Advertising, even when given as 3rd-party testimonials.
    I respect a person more when he is consistant and honest in his beliefs, even though its definitely a minority view in this forum….”

    The only difference I’ve spotted between the original video and this updated one is the DELETION of the ‘carbon footprint’ testimonial.

    Thanks for being consistant BOB!