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USA: Full-sized American electric pickup truck for Detroit show

Former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz to unveil monster electric vehicle

By Gavin Conway on December 23, 2011 11:23 AM

Think ‘extended range electric vehicle from GM’ and the Chevy Volt immediately comes to mind. In America, the Volt has become a bit of a lightning rod for the conservative right-wing. They regard it as a liberal, left-wing waste of tax dollars and somehow ‘un-American’. It doesn’t help that the Volt is relatively small.

So they’re not going to be happy about this. A company called Via Motors, which has former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz on its Board of Directors, has produced an “extended range” electric, full-sized pickup truck that will debut at the Detroit Motor Show next month. And it won’t be news to most that full-sized pickups are emblematic of the sort of Americans who don’t have much truck with wet liberals. Or their Chevy Volts.

The truck, which appears to be based on the full-sized Chevrolet Silverado, uses technology similar to that of the Volt. It isn’t, though, proprietary GM tech – rather, it’s VIA Motors own development. The system uses a 24kWh lithium ion battery with a 201 horsepower 4.3-litre V6 engine that acts as a generator. The truck can travel between 30 and 40 miles in pure electric mode, then another 400 miles when the battery gets to minimum charge and the engine cuts. As with the Volt, the wheels are only ever powered by electricity.
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