Perhaps you’ve seen VIA Motors’ extended-range electric pickups and vans that are pending launch, and today the company announced it’s debuting a shuttle version of its van.
In an interview today, VIA’s Chief Marketing Officer David West said the Utah-based startup will announce the production van specially configured for airport/hotel duty at the ongoing Edison Electric Institute Annual Conference in Las Vegas today.
Featured speakers at the event include Warren Buffett and former U.S. Secretary of Defense, William Gates.
West said VIA is already providing free to-and-from trips for industry executives in its vans between the McCarran Airport and the convention, and these are much like shuttle vans used in January at the Sundance Film Festival.
Inside the vehicle are upgraded seats more suitable for the duty, and the vans can be equipped with other amenities as needed.
All-Electric, 100 Miles/Day
These vans, by the way, are demonstrating the ideal usage scenario VIA envisions which is all-electric. How does a 24-kwh VIA van drive over 100 miles a day, round the clock on pure electricity?
The buzzword is “opportunity charging.”
VIA has contracted with Clipper Creek which provides a strategically located 240-volt, 14.4-kilowatt, 60-amp level 2 charger that replenishes the shuttle buses in between trips.
This would normally be down time, waiting for the next load of passengers, with AC running in the 110-degree heat, and a big fuel waster for a conventional V8 vehicles.
In VIA’s case, the van stays in the e-zone, running AC and accessories from the battery while it’s recharging between runs.
While not naming specific customers, West said VIA has orders booked for its hotel/airport shuttle. The configuration is in line with the standard entry price of $79,000.
West noted California and five other states have incentives starting at $10,500 on the state level plus $7,500 on the federal level. Certain areas of California can go to as high as $18,000 in state incentives.