VIA Motors A Chevy Volt On Steroids?

An electric Hummer? The very concept had us reeling when we reported last September that an energy technology company called Raser Technologies had road tested just such a beast, “demonstrating over 50 miles of all-electric range.” Well, apparently that demo and others like it have convinced investors that Raser might be onto something, and the result is a new company focused on extended-range electric vehicles of the pickup truck, SUV and van persuasion.

Raser actually announced lassoing funding for this venture back in November, but hadn’t released many details. Then recently autobloggreen noticed that the VIA Motors website had gone live, giving a better if still somewhat fuzzy picture of what the company intends to produce and when vehicles might begin rolling into use.

Electric vehicles, trucks, SUVs, vans, VIA Motors

image via VIA Motors

The site highlights an extended range fleet pickup – “like a Chevy Volt on steroids” VIA says. And it makes sense that VIA would start with a fleet vehicle: In July 2010, Raser and PG&E had announced plans for the big California utility to receive two extended range pickup trucks by the end of the year. In clicking through the website, we couldn’t find anything stating when production of the fleet tucks would begin, but autogreenblog said 2011. We did find that the company is taking $1,000 deposits for individual orders, for which it expects delivery in 2013.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.