Declaring a new era in transportation electrification and a “game-changing” vehicle that will save money while protecting the environment and curbing oil imports, Pacific Gas & Electric welcomed the first “beta” full-size range-extended battery electric trucks from Utah’s Via Motors (F&F Strategies, January 16) in San Francisco on March 22.
“We can improve our environment and reduce our operating costs,” said PG&E transportation director Dave Meisel.
Because they’re expected to run primarily on battery power, each truck has the potential to pare fuel costs by $2,700 per year, said PG&E senior VP Greg Pruett. Beyond reducing fuel costs and emissions, the “revolutionary” exportable power feature will allow PG&E to reduce customer power outages, Pruett said.
“Electrification is a compelling business case,” said Bob Lutz, the former GM vice-chairman who now sits on the Via board.
‘Taking Fuel Out of the Equation’
“You’re taking fuel out of the equation in the vehicles that we use a ton of it in, in their conventional form.”
PG&E will evaluate the Via truck with durability of the eREV (Extended-Range Electric Vehicle) driveline the “numero uno” benchmark, Meisel said. PG&E has about 3,500 of the pickup type, and buys 400 to 500 per year.
The price is $79,000, which Via COO Alan Perriton said will drop to $69,000 with the first 12 months of production and to about $64,000 “shortly thereafter.”
“This vehicle is going to allow us to become effectively energy-independent,” Perriton said.
“It will have a ripple effect through the industry.”
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