Using the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show as a backdrop, VIA Motors announced it has begun producing full-size, four-wheel-drive, electric pickup trucks and vans. The announcement was made by Bob Lutz, the former vice chairman of General Motors that helped push the production of the Chevy Volt.
The vehicles will be manufactured at a facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The facility is located here in close proximity with the GM Silao plant where the Chevy Silverado is assembled. New trucks will be transported to VIA facility nearby, upgraded to VIA’s electric powertrain, then shipped north to U.S. and Canada. This process makes electrification of production vehicles more efficient and more affordable, according to the company.
“VIA’s unique approach in working hand-in-hand with OEMs like General Motors to transform conventional full size vehicles into extended range electric vehicles, will make electric power train options more practical and available to a broader market,” stated Lutz at the press conference.
The company recently signed a $20 million contract to produce vans and pickups for more than 50 fleets. The contract was administered by the South Coast Air Quality Management District with the Electric Power Research Institute acting as project manager. The California Energy Commission is also participating the program. The Department of Energy plans to publish the data for use by government agencies, participating fleets and the general public to use to help quantify the benefits of operating plug-in electric vehicles.