The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has granted certification to VIA Motors' eREV gasoline-electric hybrid van, paving the way for shipping of the vehicle to fleets, the company announced Nov. 13.
So far, 23 VIA eREV vans have been shipped to fleets with three more in transit.
VIA's proprietary powertrain, called V-DRIVE, provides 40 miles of battery range before the vehicle shifts over to run on gasoline. The Orem, Utah-based VIA produces a extended-range hybrid electric version of the Chevrolet Express van that improves fuel economy for commercial fleets.
Several utility fleets including California's Pacific Gas & Electric have been testing the vehicle. Verizon has also been testing the vans. VIA has been working with the South Coast Air Quality Management District to deliver plug-in hybrid vans and trucks in a partnership that also includes the U.S. Department of Energy.
“If we are going to see main stream adoption of electric vehicles, the technology must deliver a good return on investment to the largest segment of the auto business, namely trucks and vans," said Bob Lutz, VIA's chairman and former vice chairman of GM. Lutz is generally credited with pushing forward the Chevrolet Volt hybrid.