VIA Motors Inks $80 Million Deal to Supply Sun Country / Best Western Hotels With 1,000 Plug-In Shuttle Vans

JAN 15 2014 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 6

VIA Motors has inked a purchase agreement deal worth up to $80 million with Sun Country Highway and Best Western Hotels.

Sun Country Lets Electric Vehicle Owners Take A Trip From Montreal To Detroit

Sun Country Lets Electric Vehicle Owners Take A Trip From Montreal To Detroit

“In a press conference on the main floor of the (NAIAS) North America International Auto Show, VIA Motors announced that it has received an $80 million purchase agreement from Sun Country Highway to electrify hotels and other business as part of a transcontinental electrification project. Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman and a leading advocate for extended range electric vehicles, spoke at the press conference along with top executives from VIA Motors, Sun Country Highway and a representative from Best Western Hotels.”

The deal calls for VIA Motors to supply 100 of its plug-in vans to Best Western.  The vans will be used as electric shuttles.  The initial 100-unit deal puts $8 million in VIA’s pocket.  As the project expand, VIA will supply additional vans to Best Western.  The signed purchase agreement calls for the eventual deployment of $80 million worth of VIA vans.

Sun Country Highway founder Kent Rathwell (who happens to be a Best Western Hotel representative too) stated:

“In phase one of the project we electrified hundreds of businesses across the country including placing about 100 chargers at Best Western Hotels.  In phase two, we will deploy VIA’s electric trucks and vans and have already placed an $8 million order with a deposit VIA for the first 100 vehicles. We have signed a purchase agreement with VIA committing us to about $80 million of electrified vehicles overall, to meet the demand of the expanding project.”

Sun Country Highway has installed “over 1,000 charging stations across Canada to allow electric vehicle owners to travel coast-to-coast with free charging.”

Sun Country Is Taking A Tour Of Their Network With Both A Tesla Roadster and Model S, As Well As A Chevy Volt...And A VIA VTRUX Van!

Sun Country Toured Their Network Last Year With A Tesla Roadster, Model S, Chevy Volt…And A VIA VTRUX Van!

Per the press release:

The Best Western Seven Oaks in Regina, Canada will be the first Best Western hotel to offer electric shuttle van services in North America. The hotel owner, Glenn Weir spoke at the press conference and stated, “Best Western is excited to deploy this ultra clean, economical technology. We look forward to providing our guests with clean electric shuttle services and free charging for their own electric vehicles.”

“VIA is pleased to supply Sun Country and Best Western with the world’s cleanest most economical shuttle van,” said John Weber, CEO VIA Motors. “VIA’s rugged, four wheel drive, extended range technology is ideal for Canada’s extreme weather conditions and extended range driving,” concluded Weber.

Sun County claims to have “created the world’s largest universal fast charging network from coast to coast across North America, making nearly 90% of Canadian highways accessible to electric vehicles for free charging.”

For VIA Motors, this $80 million deal guarantees it the funding it needs to fire up production of its plug-in van and truly puts VIA on the map in terms being a supplier of fleet plug-ins.

Categories: VIA Motors

Tags:

Leave a Reply

6 Comments on "VIA Motors Inks $80 Million Deal to Supply Sun Country / Best Western Hotels With 1,000 Plug-In Shuttle Vans"

newest oldest most voted

Fleet application of EREV trucks/vans is going to be widespread. VIA has positioned itself well, the big question is, “Will they be able to meet demand?” I don’t think they have the production capacity, hence, they will be absorbed by a major manufacturer.

This is good example that there is a real demand for electric delivery vans that are not range limited.

So is this going to be a Canada only event, or are SunCountryHighway employees suddenly going to need alot of green cards? Some detailed specs on the vans would be appreciated. Forget Via’s website, their info is self-contradictory.

Wonder what the cycle is on shuttle runs and how far they typically are. Meaning can the charge on 240v 6.6 kW to keep up.

These are extended range EVs, meaning once the battery is low, the ICE starts up and charges the battery. The difference between these and the Volt is that (at least in their technical drawings) there is no direct linkage between the ICE and the wheels. The ICE exclusively powers a generator, nothing more. This greatly simplifies the design at the cost of some high-speed efficiency (according to GM).

They should add a wireless charger at the pick-up/drop-off point outside the lobby so that charging can occur while waiting or loading/unloading.