Bob Lutz, considered as the father of the Chevrolet Volt, is joining EV maker VIA Motors. His move to VIA Motors is regarded as part of the company’s commitment to extended range electric vehicles, as well as one of the means to spark greater cooperation between emerging technology firms and large OEMs. Lutz remarked that he sees the Volt as the most important car he had created during his long career.
He quipped that his decision to join VIA Motors was prompted by the desire to expand the vision of extended range electric vehicles as well as to help create the next generation of trucks, vans and SUVs powered by electricity. Lutz remarked that VIA Motors’ extended range electric trucks would be a game changer, providing the drive for a standard for clean, high performance, utility vehicles. He noted that light duty trucks have been dominating the auto market in the United States, with the pick-up truck lording over other vehicles in the past 20 years.
He called pick-up trucks as “the work horse of America,” enjoying consistent strong sales as they have been preferred by both commercial fleets and retail customers. He added that government fleets are required to switch from gasoline to a cleaner alternative fuel like electricity.
VIA Motors’ Kraig Higginson welcomed Lutz to the company. Higginson quipped that the company offers trucks that aren’t more expensive to own and operate than gas trucks and are able to deliver full performance with near zero emissions. He added that these trucks will get less expensive to operate as battery prices go down and as gas prices go up. While light duty trucks and SUVs make up for around half of overall vehicles sales, they account for the majority of oil consumption and emissions.
Alan Perriton, Chief Operations Officer for VIA Motors, remarked that while trucks are known for their poor fuel economy, their electrified versions consume less oil and emit lower carbon dioxide than smaller vehicles, while offering a faster payback. He added that an electrified truck is equivalent to two small cars taken off the road.