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Via Motors VTrux | Plug-in Hybrid Trucks – Consumer Reports News

Small-car drivers aren’t the only ones who want to burn less gasoline. Truck drivers are eager to save fuel, as well. The differences between mass-market models is relatively slight, giving buyers limited options without sacrificing function. That’s where Via Motors sees an opportunity to create electrified trucks, SUVs, and vans based on proven General Motors models. (Learn more about fuel economy and alternative vehicles.)

Inspired by the Chevrolet Volt, and backed by General Motors’ former Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, the VTrux plug-in hybrids have a range of 35 miles or more on battery power alone. A range-extending gas engine stretches the vehicles’ capabilities to mirror the total range found with their conventional counterparts. Unlike the Volt that Lutz had championed, the trucks are strictly series hybrids, with no mechanical connection between the gas engine and the drive wheels. The range-extending engine only powers a generator to provide electricity to power the electric drive once the batteries run out, eliminating the need for any conventional transmission.

The VTrux can be used as job-site power sources.
The various VTrux will use engines sourced from General Motors, with the vans fitted with a 4.8-liter V8 and pickups equipped with a 4.3-liter V6. The “Presidential SUV” will use the popular 5.3-liter V8 with cylinder deactivation, as found in the redesigned Silverado.



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