VIA Motors

VIA Motors is an American 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 conventional gas powertrain with an extended-range electric-drive powertrain. VIA then sells directly to fleets under the VTRUX™ brand name. VIA is beta testing its vehicles with fleet customers[1] and is taking orders from the public for trucks to be delivered in 2014. VIA Motors received the NTEA Work Truck Show 2012 Green Award[2] for the VIA VTRUX truck.

History

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.[3][4] Bob Lutz, former vice-chairman of GM credited as "Father of the Chevy Volt",[5] featuring an extended-range electric powertrain called Voltec,[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] VIA signs key suppliers, including Remy Motors[9] and A123 Batteries.[10] Fleet customers including Rocky Mountain Power[11] and Verizon Wireless[12] join vehicle testing program.

Products

A plugged VIA VTRUX pickup in a fake off-road scene
The VIA VTRUX pickup at NAIAS 2013

VIA offers versions of vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs as Extended Range Electric Vehicles (E-REV). The VIA VTRUX truck has a 40-mile battery-only range,[8] 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.[6][13]

Vehicle Specifications

  • Batteries. VIA's vehicles uses 22 kWh liquid-cooled nanophosphate lithium-ion batteries from A123 Systems. The battery chemistry is based on research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).[14] 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.[15]
  • 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. The motor and generator are supplied by Remy International.[16]
  • Electric Motor. The electric motor provides propulsion at all times. The 150 kW 402 Nm motor weighs 108 lbs and measures 11”x 11”.[17]
  • 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.[18] The power export capacity is offered in 10 kW or 50 kW options. The inverters used for the traction motor and generator are supplied by TM4 Electrodynamic Systems.[19]
  • 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.

References

  1. ^ "PG&E, VIA Motors Showcase A First For Utilities: The Extended-Range Electric Pickup Truck". VIA Motors. Archived from the original on 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
  2. ^ "VIA MOTORS DRIVES AWAY WITH NTEA WORK TRUCK SHOW 2012 GREEN AWARD". NTEA. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  3. ^ SCHULTZ, JONATHAN (26 September 2011). "'Retired' Bob Lutz Adds Via Motors to His Brand Advisory Portfolio". New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  4. ^ Yoney, Domenick. "Via Motors offers Raser E-REV truck tech for fleets in 2011, individuals in 2013".
  5. ^ Gordon, Nikki (17 July 2012). "Jay Leno, Bob Lutz talk plug-ins, test drive a hybrid truck". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b "The Voltec System - Energy Storage and Electric Propulsion". Retrieved 2014-11-14.
  7. ^ KOLODNY, LORA (18 March 2011). "VIA Motors Raises $5.3 Million To Build Clean Trucks And SUVs". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  8. ^ a b Motavalli, Jim (10 January 2012). "Via Motors: Big G.M. Trucks With Downsized Thirst". New York Times.
  9. ^ "Remy International Signs Long Term Supply Agreement with VIA Motors". 11 June 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  10. ^ "A123 Systems To Supply Batteries To Via Motors". The Wall Street Journal. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  11. ^ Lee, Jasen (June 20, 2012). "About this ad Rocky Mountain Power to test new electric truck". Deseret News. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  12. ^ "VIA Motors and Verizon to collaborate on extended range electric work vehicles; evaluation for possible wide-scale application". Green Car Congress. 6 March 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
  14. ^ "A123 Systems To Supply Batteries To Via Motors". Wall Street Journal. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  15. ^ "Nanophosphate® Basics: An Overview of the Structure, Properties and Benefits of A123 Systems' Proprietary Lithium Ion Battery Technology" (PDF). A123 Systems, Inc. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  16. ^ "Remy International Signs Long Term Supply Agreement with VIA Motors". 11 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Inside the Extended-Range Electric Truck". VIA Motors. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  18. ^ Rovito, Markkus (7 May 2012). "The fleet footed survive: VIA Motors electrifies trucks, vans and SUVs". Charged EVs. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Customers - TM4". Dana TM4.

External links