VIA Motors extended-range electric pickup truck (photos)
Currently in testing as part of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's fleet, the VIA Motors eREV is like the Chevy Volt of large pickup trucks.
VIA Motors showcased the production-ready version of its extended-range electric vehicle (eREV) pickup truck today in downtown San Francisco, delivering a pair of the vehicles to California utility company Pacific Gas and Electric for testing as part of its work vehicle fleet.
The eREV is based on Chevrolet's Silverado. Via chose to leave the 4.3 liter V-6 engine in place. However, much like the Chevrolet Volt, the gasoline engine only fires up to extend the truck's range after the battery pack's 40-mile (more or less) range is depleted.
The VIA eREV's 15-kilowatt battery pack can be charged using a fast charging station, by plugging into a standard 110-volt or 220-volt outlet, via the regenerative braking system, or with the truck's gasoline engine.
An interesting bonus to toting around 15 kilowatts of electricity in its battery pack is that that the VIA Motors eREV can potentially supply enough on-site power for a small- to medium-size house. Armed with this technology, PG&E technicians can power their tools with the vehicle or, in the future, eliminate planned power outages for maintenance.
The eREV pickup that was delivered to PG&E features a much more basic version of this interface that only really gives access to power-train information. If you're not a VIA engineer, most of this will likely look like gibberish.