VIA Motors is an electric vehicle development and manufacturing company. VIA Motors produces extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs) by modifying trucks, vans and SUVs. VIA Motors purchases basic vehicles from GM and replaces the gas powertrain with an electric-drive powertrain. VIA then sells directly to fleets under the VTRUX™ brand name. VIA is beta testing its vehicles with fleet customers and is taking orders from the public for trucks to be delivered in 2013. VIA Motors received the Work The Work Truck Show 2012 Green Award for the VIA VTRUX truck.
VIA Motors was spun off in November 2010 from Raser Technologies, the engineering company that, in 2009, showed a Hummer H3 said to be capable of returning 100 miles per gallon when fitted with Raser’s range-extender plug-in powertrain.Bob Lutz, former vice-chairman of GM credited as "Father of the Chevy Volt" joined as Chairman in 2011.
2010 – VIA Motors is formed from a private group of investors. Executives and engineers from General Motors and Raser Technologies join VIA Motors.
2011 – VIA raises $5.3 million from private investors including Carl Berg. Alpha and beta vehicles are delivered to PG&E. Bob Lutz joins VIA Motors as chairman.
2012 – VIA unveils a lineup of EREV versions of trucks, vans and SUVs at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. VIA signs key suppliers, including Remy Motors and A123 Batteries. Fleet customers including Rocky Mountain Power and Verizon Wireless join vehicle testing program.
VIA’s offers versions of vans, pickup trucks, and suburbans as Extended Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV). The VIA VTRUX truck has a 40-mile battery-only range, and a 35-mile range for the van and SUV. After batteries are depleted, a gas-powered generator creates electricity for continued driving, similar to the architecture of the Chevy Volt.
Batteries. VIA's vehicles uses 24.4 kWh liquid-cooled nanophosphate lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems. The battery chemistry is based on research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The nanoscale structure of the Nanophosphate chemistry enables battery systems with higher power, increased abuse tolerance, longer life and the greater ability to maintain consistent power over a wide range of state of charge (SOC) as compared with competing lithium ion and other chemistries.
Gas Engine. Gas Engine A 4.3L V6 combustion engine is paired with VIA’s electric generator to form a gas/electric generator set. The gas engine runs only when generating electricity to recharge the batteries.
Electric Generator. The 150 kW (201 hp) generator is connected directly to the engine and only runs to charge the batteries.
Electric Motor. The electric motor provides propulsion at all times. The 300 kW 402 hp motor weighs 108 lbs and measures 11”x 11”.
Inverter. VIA claims the truck can be used to power a home in an emergency. PG&E intends to use the truck to provide emergency street power during outages. The power export capacity is offered in 10 kW or 50 kW options.
Charging. Vehicles can be charged with 120, 240 or 480 volts (Level 3 charging station). Charging times vary based on input voltage, and can range from 8 hours with a household outlet to 3 hours with a charging station.