Originally posted on CleanTechnica
Bob Lutz isn’t the kind of man to sit around without anything to keep him busy, and his latest venture is VIA Motors, which converts GM pickups into versatile plug-in hybrids. Last week Lutz announced that VIA Motors had begun production of its plug-in hybrid pickups, and delivery of the first 40 was already underway.
In addition to those 40 pickups, VIA is also delivering the first 200 VTRUX plug-in hybrid vans, as well as beginning production in their state-of-the-art manufacturing center in Mexico. With a 2,000 pound payload capacity and the ability to deliver up to 240-volts of juice as an on-site power generator, the first VTRUX are being sold to fleet customers like General Electric, and Verizon Wireless to test their usefulness in the field. According to Lutz, plug-in hybrid pickups should have come before cars anyways.
Relegated only to fleet customers at the moment, the $79,000 starting price is still about twice the cost of the average new truck these days, but VIA claims its plug-in vehicles can get up to 100 MPG in daily driving with a 40-mile electric driving range . The fuel savings start adding up after just 12,000 miles of driving, and VIA’s production facility can convert up to 10,000 GM trucks and vans per year into plug-in hybrid.
Still interested despite the high cost? After fulfilling its initial batch of orders, Lutz says VIA plans to open sales to individuals wanting a vehicle Detroit has thus far refused to build. With a highest cost than the Tesla Model S though, will buyers pony-up for a plug-in pickup?