SALT LAKE CITY − Rocky Mountain Power is testing an extended-range electric hybrid vehicle to determine fuel cost savings and other fleet benefits. Through a partnership with VIA Motors, the utility will have access to a hybrid truck for four months to evaluate the vehicle’s performance (including emissions, fuel economy, power ratio, and weight carrying capabilities). 

“We’re excited to take this truck on an extended test drive, kick the tires if you will,” said Rocky Mountain President and CEO Richard Walje. “As part of our ongoing commitment to the environment and our customers, we are exploring several opportunities in the area of alternative-fuel vehicles.”

VIA President Alan Perriton added, “Our partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, and the introduction of the world’s first extended-range electric work trucks in their fleet, marks a turning point in the electrification industry.” Perriton went on to explain someday electric motors in fleet vehicles like this might not only supply power to the vehicle, but could power an entire neighborhood while crews work to restore electricity, becoming a sort of traveling power station.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert noted this private sector partnership as an excellent example of the community’s effort to find solutions to improve air quality. “I believe that the formula for energy independence must include innovation and initiative, and that is what we’re witnessing today,” he said.