Bob Lutz And Jay Leno Drive VIA’s Extended Range VTRUX (Video)

JUL 17 2012 BY JAY COLE 5

VTRUX EREV - First 40 Miles Electric / 300 Miles Total Range

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

Bob Lutz, of General Motors fame, is a classic old school car guy.  As is comedian Jay Leno, so it makes sense the two would someday meet up to do a segment on VIA’s extended range truck (of which Lutz is a member of the board) on Jay’s car show.

Borrowing from the concept behind the Chevrolet Volt, the VIA truck (think Silverado) uses lithium battery to propel the vehicle for up to 40 miles, before switching over to a  GM sourced 4.3 liter V6.

VIA says the truck gets a 100 MPGe overall rating, and takes just 4 hours to charge (220v – level 2).  The electric motor is rated at 300 kW (402 hp) and is powered by a 24.4 kWh, liquid cooled, battery supplied by A123, who will also supply packs for the upcoming Chevy Spark EV.

VTRUX Portable Power

The tagline for VIA’s lineup of EREV trucks is one most of us can appreciate, “The fuel economy of a Prius™ with the payload of a pickup”

According to the company: “With 40 miles of battery range, most drivers won’t burn any gas in a typical day. Driving 50 miles in a day, 40 miles on batteries and 10 miles with the help of the range extender, the typical driver would average about 100 miles per gallon in gas fuel economy. When driving beyond battery range, the VTRUX still gets significantly better fuel economy than the gas model “

The trucks also come with an option for “exportable power for the work site.” The VTRUX power export module provides 15 kW at 30 amps of onboard mobile power.  Additionally, a utility grade output module, now in development, is designed to provide 50 kW of mobile emergency power to keep critical facilities online.

Both Jay and Bob seem to be having a good time tooling around in the VTRUX, which according to VIA, has an “anticipated selling price (of) $79,000 in volume.”  Vehicles can be reserved online here, with a $1,000 down.

VIA Motors Extended Range Truck Lineup

After watching the video, and if you have some extra time to kill, why not check out his consulting firm’s (Lutz Communications) website.  It is amateurishly delicious.

Categories: VIA Motors


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5 Comments on "Bob Lutz And Jay Leno Drive VIA’s Extended Range VTRUX (Video)"

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Gm should be embarrassed. How could they pass up the opportunity to put Voltec in Trucks and SUVs? Every VIA customer could have been a happy GM customer, because GM could do it for less.


Agree 100%. Was hoping Jay would ask the obvious… “why is this not a GM product?”

Was funny that Jay kept calling it a “hybrid”. I think Bob winced a little each time. 😉

Thanks InsideEV … great segment!

Hehe, actually all I could keep thinking about was I am not sure about this new ‘casual Friday’ Bob Lutz since he left GM. Not sure about this dress shirt sans pink tie version of Bob.

Seriously though, I think the selling price vs development cost of the project would have scared the GM bean counters if it was proposed. Lets face it, they axed (or at least delayed) the Voltec MPV5 because they didn’t want to offer the Orlando in the US market.

Bob’s relationship with VIA, may be some sort of offshoot from a failed attempt of his to bring a EREV truck to GM internally. From that, he may have gotten the ‘blessing’ to do this project using Silverado gliders from the General after they decided to not green light the project internally.

Whatever reason for the VIA connection, if there indeed will be fleets using these trucks, it’ll be great to see the ‘test’ data as to real world performance for what I assume is an upsized Voltec drive system (anybody able to confirm GM’s patents are found in the VIA trucks?).

Considering the aerodynamic inefficiency of the Silverado truck vs. the Volt, the VIA claims of similar performance numbers to the Volt seem hard to believe. If they can come close, it would be a shock, pun intended.

It is a 24kWh (? used) battery vs the Volts 16kWh (10.8 used) so they can get 40 EV miles even if they have that bigger motor.

Hope they do the same to the Camaro!!!