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Where Are the Via Motors Pickups?

August 5, 2013 in Electric Drive, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Change in GM Platform Forced Delay in Planned Trucks
But Plug-In Pickups Will Now Come with Smaller Engines

Via Motors is emphasizing vans instead of pickups for its mostly electric vehicles – because a change in GM’s pickup chassis has forced a major design update for the pickup product Via had intended to bring to market first.

Via's new electric pickup with range extension will also include a rear step bumper.

Via’s new electric pickup with range extension will also include a rear step bumper.

“It put us back about 12 months,” says Via sales and business development VP Mark Burdge. “Luckily,” he says of the vehicle certification process, “we hadn’t crashed the truck yet.”

“We paused the project and waited patiently.

“GM has been great to work with,” he adds.

4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6

“It’s for the better,” Burdge told F&F, because GM’s 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup is now available with the smaller and more efficient 4.3-liter EcoTec3 V-6.

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 ful size, range-extended battery electric trucks were handed over to the utility more than a year ago in San Francisco (F&F, March 25, 2012).

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 more than a year ago in San Francisco (F&F, March 25, 2012).

For reasons of simplicity and economy, Via keeps the original engine for range extension when it installs its series hybrid electric drive allowing mostly battery operation. Now that engine will be a V-6 – a more modern, “much more fuel-efficient engine,” Burdge notes, rather than the previous year’s model’s smallest available V-8.

Other new features include rear step bumper, illuminated bed, aluminum hood, and electric power steering.

4×4 to Be First

Via vehicle batteries can charge from the grid, or from the engine. Power takeoff allows tools to be powered from the truck’s batteries, or from the idling engine.

Because of the pickup change, Via’s GM-platform vans will be the company’s first available vehicle. “The van is in final certification now for delivery this fall,” says Burdge.

The pickups, he says, will be available for delivery in the first quarter of 2014. The 4×4 crew cab will be the first for delivery, followed by the double cab, then the standard truck.


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Source: Fleets & Fuels with PG&E in San Francisco, follow-up

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