Sun Country Highway has entered in an agreement with VIA Motors to provide plug-in hybrid trucks and vans.

VIA Motors made the announcement at the North American International Auto Show Jan. 14, saying it has received an $80 million purchase agreement from Sun Country Highway to electrify hotels and other business as part of a transcontinental electrification project.

Bob Lutz, former GM vice chairman, spoke at the press conference along with top executives from VIA Motors, Sun Country Highway and a representative from Best Western Hotels.

The privately funded electrification project called Sun Country Highway, was launched by founder Kent Rathwell, and has placed over 1,000 charging stations across Canada to allow electric vehicle owners to travel coast-to-coast with free charging.

In the next phase, it will provide charging for the business’ own electric shuttle vans and trucks.

“In phase one of the project we electrified hundreds of businesses across the country including placing about 100 chargers at Best Western Hotels,” said Rathwell. “In phase two, we will deploy VIA’s electric trucks and vans and have already placed an $8 million order with a deposit VIA for the first 100 vehicles. We have signed a purchase agreement with VIA committing us to about $80 million of electrified vehicles overall, to meet the demand of the expanding project,” concluded Rathwell.

Via said the Best Western Seven Oaks in Regina, Canada will be the first Best Western hotel to offer electric shuttle van services in North America.

During the press conference, Bob Lutz also presented the world’s first solar powered extended range electric pickup truck by VIA with a solar powered bed cover option.