INDIANAPOLIS – Verizon and VIA Motors announced they will collaborate to develop and demonstrate plug-in electric work vehicles using VIA’s proprietary eREV (extended range electric vehicle) technology and evaluate the technology for possible wide scale application into Verizon’s fleet.
The announcement was made at a press conference at the National Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, where VIA demonstrated an “electrified” pick-up truck and cargo van, two of the most widely used vehicles in Verizon’s fleet, and provided test drives for the media and the public at the show.
Both models use VIA’s proprietary eREV power train technology, enabling them to drive a majority of their daily work routes emission-free and entirely on electric power. The vehicles have up to 40 miles of all-electric range using advanced technology lithium ion batteries, with the added capability to drive unlimited additional miles using VIA’s onboard electric generator or “range extender.” Both vehicles can be charged from a typical 110v household outlet.
In independent testing, VIA’s eREV pick-up trucks have demonstrated up to 100 mpg in typical fleet driving. VIA anticipates the Verizon electrified work vehicles should improve fleet fuel economy up to 300 percent while cutting emissions in half or more, according to the company.
“At Verizon, we’re in the business of breaking down old technology barriers to drive innovation,” said Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer James Gowen. “By collaborating with VIA on this extended range technology, we hope to create a game-changing opportunity for Verizon and other industries to reduce emissions and cut maintenance costs without having to wait years for large-scale electric charging infrastructure.”
In addition to significant fuel savings, Verizon anticipates utilizing the vehicles onboard generator and power export option to power work tools or even provide power to their network in an emergency. Work vehicles, which typically carry thousands of pounds of equipment and cargo, can save significantly more money than lighter vehicles by shifting to electricity, according to the manufacturer.
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