VIA Motors has begun production of its hybrid electric Chevrolet Silverado pickup and Chevrolet Express cargo and passenger vans, company chairman Bob Lutz announced at the 2015 Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.
Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors and a key figure in the development of the Chevrolet Volt, is known for his advocacy of extended-range electric vehicle technology. The vehicles operate in all-electric mode for a 40-mile range, then rely on the generator-powered gasoline engine to extend the range to 400 miles.
"The combination of VIA's extended range electric technology, in the number-one selling vehicle in America, the pickup truck, means electric vehicles are now headed for the mainstream, led by VIA Motors," said Lutz. "This is one of those historic events where yesterday's vision is today's reality."
VIA's electrified Silverado will be built in VIA's new high volume production facility located near GM’s plant in Silao, Mexico. VIA's plant will be capable of producing up to 10,000 vehicles per year in a process that transforms conventional production vehicles into electric vehicles by integrating VIA's V-Drive technology, which includes two powerful electric motors and advanced lithium ion batteries, according to VIA.
VIA's powertrain includes a 16-gallon fuel tank that delivers an additional 400 miles of generated electric driving.