Bob Lutz at Via Motors extended-range electric truck conversion launch, 2012 Detroit Auto Show
Most readers will recognize the names Fisker and Tesla as being two leading electric car startups, but there’s a third that will soon be making headlines, and it’s got one very famous auto industry personality as its chairman.
The company we’re talking about is Via Motors, which is headquartered in Orem, Utah, and has industry veteran Bob Lutz as its chairman.
Via Motors’ initial lineup is available for pre-order and is made up of vans and pickups that are powered by extended-range electric drivetrains. The vehicle bodies are originally sourced from General Motors but are outfitted with Via’s own electric car technology, which it calls V-DRIVE.
Most of its vehicles can drive approximately 40 miles on electric power alone, using a single charge of their lithium-ion batteries. With their internal combustion engines boosting range beyond the initial 40 miles, the vehicles can potentially cover hundreds of miles and return a combined fuel economy of 100 mpg.
Now, Via Motors has announced it will unveil three new full-size, extended-range electric vehicles at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show
next month. They will include a high-performance pickup truck with all-wheel drive and a claimed 800-horsepower rating, a luxury SUV, and what the company claims will be the world’s first extended-range electric 12-seater van.
Via’s belief is that by electrifying three of the biggest--and top-selling--vehicles on the market today, it can reduce much more emissions than if it sought to simply replace compact city cars.
Bob Lutz will be on hand to present the vehicles at the Detroit show on January 14.