Ideanomics, a new player in the EV scene, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire VIA Motors International in an all-stock transaction for a 100% ownership stake.
It has been quite some time since we last time heard about the Utah-based VIA Motors, a company that originally had been developing range-extended electric vehicles (series-hybrids with plug-in capability based on GM's pickups and vans). The project, blessed by Bob Lutz (former GM boss), did not take off at the time and disappeared from the radar.
Now, thanks to the $450 million acquisition (with up to $180 million of potential earnout component tied to future vehicle deliveries and customers), VIA Motors is expected to try again - this time with an all-new, all-electric platform and Class 2 through Class 5 cargo vans, trucks, and buses.
"The company has deep experience in the vehicle electrification market and continues to develop business relationships with commercial fleets and distributors in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. VIA Motors is also working with an autonomous technology company to provide electrification of autonomous trucks for short-haul and mid-mile delivery."
"VIA utilizes a scalable and flexible electric skateboard platform for Class 2, 3, 4 and 5 vans and trucks, along with a modular body approach that enables a capital-light single design for its platforms, drive systems and vehicle models. VIA's intellectual property portfolio extends to proprietary software and control systems featuring embedded diagnostics and telematics to significantly improve fleet operating costs, uptime, and routing for superior life cycle economics."
Ideanomics recently acquired also a few other companies, including US Hybrid, electric tractor manufacturer Solectrac and wireless charging specialist Wave.
Assuming the transaction will be approved, VIA shareholders are expected to own approximately 25% of the combined company.
New VIA EVs
Earlier this year, VIA released images of a commercial delivery van and its new, modular, all-electric platform - a body-on-frame solution, called simply a skateboard platform.
It's expected that the platform will handle battery packs of up to 100 kWh. An 85 kWh battery version should provide a range of up to around 200 km (124 miles). Wheelbase can be selected from 2.74-5.08 m, while the length is 5.5-6 m. The payload capacity varies between 1,000-4,989 kg.
Production of the new skateboard for Class 2-Class 3 vehicles is expected to start in late 2022 to early 2023. In the following years, the company intends to launch Class 4 and 5 versions (2024).
In terms of charging, aside from standard AC Level 2 levels (6-7 kW or 15 kW), the company hints at up to 150 kW DC fast charging option.
We are eager to see the first units of VIA EVs on the road and who knows, maybe this new chapter will be fruitful for VIA.