Bob Lutz to introduce PHEV pickup, SUV and van

Via Motors announced Tuesday that it will unveil three powerful PHEVs at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

 

Via Motors announced Tuesday that it will unveil three powerful PHEVs at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. These are no golf carts. The full-size pickup truck, four-wheel-drive SUV, and three-quarter-ton cargo van all feature Via’s eREV powertrain, which includes a 4.3-liter gas V6, a 300-kW electric motor, and a 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack (non-flammable, as Via felt it necessary to assure us). Each claims an all-electric range of 30 to 40 miles, and combined fuel economy of 100 mpg.

 

 

The introductions will be made by automotive superstar Bob Lutz, who has held senior posts at Chrysler, Ford and GM, where he was a champion of the Chevy Volt. In 2008, Lutz said that “the electrification of the automobile is inevitable.” He’s now a member of Via Motors’ board of directors.

“Via Motors has developed the first extended range electric powertrain capable of replacing the V8 engine,” said Lutz. “It was my great privilege to introduce the Chevy Volt, and it will be a great honor to introduce the world's first line of eREV trucks, vans and SUVs by Via Motors.”

“This new breed of full size utility vehicles can deliver the power and performance of a V8, with better fuel economy than many smaller cars, by driving on electricity for about $2 a day,” adds Via COO Alan Perriton. “It actually costs less to own and operate a clean Via electrified truck or SUV than a gas truck.”

Production of the pickup is scheduled to begin in 2012, and Via is already taking orders from fleet customers.

 

Image: Via Motors