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by Adam Lynton
EV start-up Via Motors will showcase a trio of cars next month, including an 800hp extended-range electric pickup.
While Fisker and Tesla are close to becoming household names, Via Motors is the third player in the EV market that is slowly gaining recognition for converting traditional gas-guzzlers like full-size trucks, SUVs and vans. At next month's Detroit Auto Show, the Utah-based carmaker hopes to get further traction in the EV market with the reveal of three new full-size EVs, including an 800-horsepower, four-wheel-drive pickup called the X-Truck, a luxury 4WD SUV laden with tech, and the world's first 12-passenger hybrid passenger van.
Industry veteran Bob Lutz, who joined the company last years as a spokesman, will personally unveil the new vehicles on January 14. Previous efforts suggest they will almost certainly be based on GM platforms, be powered by extended-range electric drivetrains, and fitted with Via's signature V-Drive powertrain. "These three new offerings demonstrate VIA's commitment to electrify the top-selling vehicles that use the most gas and can therefore benefit the most from converting to low-cost electric fuel," said VIA's president Alan Perriton. Via's vehicles typically manage 40 miles in pure electric mode, and can cover 100 miles at 100 mpg in hybrid mode.