A123 has already begun producing the battery packs at its Livonia, Michigan factory, as VIA has started delivering trucks to commercial fleet customers.
A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE) announced this week that it will supply complete lithium ion battery packs to VIA Motors for its VTRUX line of extended-range electric trucks, vans and SUVs. A123 has already begun producing the battery packs at its Livonia, Michigan factory, as VIA has started delivering trucks to commercial fleet customers.
The stock market obviously sees this order as a huge boost for the Massachusetts battery maker, as its shares have rocketed up almost 30 percent over the last couple of days.
VIA will be showing three of its potent PHEVs at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit: a full-size pickup, a four-wheel-drive SUV and a three-quarter-ton cargo van. All feature VIA’s Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (eREV) powertrain, which includes a 4.3-liter gas V6, a 300-kW electric motor, and A123’s 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Each claims an all-electric range of about 40 miles, and combined fuel economy of 100 mpg.
"VIA plans to ramp up production significantly over the next three years to satisfy demand for clean, fuel-efficient full-size trucks and SUVs," said Kraig Higginson, CEO of VIA Motors. "We selected A123's Nanophosphate lithium ion battery systems because they are able to package higher power into a compact space in the vehicle."
"We believe that the high power, greater usable energy and long life offered by our Nanophosphate lithium ion battery solutions will help VIA better position its eREV Powertrain platform as a cost-effective solution to maximize vehicle range and increase fuel economy," said A123's Jason Forcier. "We think that commercial and government fleets represent a tremendous opportunity for vehicle electrification, and we look forward to working with VIA Motors to design eREV trucks, vans and SUVs that meet fleet customers' needs for efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles that also satisfy their performance, range and reliability requirements."