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‘Beta’ Via Trucks Handed to PG&E

March 25, 2012 in Electric Drive, EVs, Fleet Order, Hybrids by rich  |  No Comments

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.

Via Motors COO Alan Perriton, PG&E transportation director Dave Meisel, PG&E senior VP Greg Pruett, ex-GM vice chair and Via board member Bob Lutz, and Via CEO Kraig Higginson as the first ‘€˜beta’€™ version of Via’€™s full size, range-extended battery electric trucks were handed over to the utility on March 22 in San Francisco

“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.

Via Motors familiy of full-size, range-extended GM-chassis electric trucks

Via Motors familiy of full-size, range-extended GM-chassis electric trucks

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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