While no major automaker has taken the plunge yet, there is an immense amount of potential in the plug-in hybrid pickup market. Via Motors hopes to tap into that market with an expanding line of hybrid pickups, and at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit Via Motors will showcase three new vehicles, including the high-performance “X-Truck”.
Currently Via Motors offers hybrid modifications to Chevrolet/GMC pickups and vans which can cost around $80,000 per vehicle. That is more than twice what most companies spend on a pickup, but the ability to drive 40 miles on electricity only could mean huge fuel savings for some companies.
Via Motors seems to want to expand beyond fleet customers though, with two of its three new concepts designed to titillate and inspire. One hand in Detroit will be a plug-in hybrid luxury SUV, most likely based on the Chevy Suburban for the discerning livery service operator. Then there will also be an 800-horsepower four-wheel drive “X-Truck” to appeal to the performance enthusiast.
The final concept will be a plug-in hybrid passenger van, which could see duty as an airport shuttle, among other uses. All well and good, but Via’s high cost of entry could prove to be a deterrent among early adopters, Federal tax credit or not. If fuel prices continue to fall, the case Via tries to make will be harder and harder, though first hand experience suggests that there are great vehicles with a lot of potential…if only they can make that sale.
Source: Green Car Reports