VIA Motors has delivered a pair of Chevrolet Silverado-based eREV pickup trucks to the California based Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). The extended-range electric vehicles will join PG&E’s fleet of work trucks.
Similar to how the Chevrolet Volt operates, the eREV pickup allows for 40 miles of full electric operation but can switch to a 4.6L V6 to replenish the batteries acting as a 15-kilowatt generator for the electric motor. In total, the eREV pickup is capable of a 400-mile cruising range.
Vice Chairman of General Motors and VIA Motors Board Member Bob Lutz predicted that the eREV truck could “average about 100-mpg or more,” which is a substantial difference compared to the Silverado LT’s 13-mpg city rating.
While equipping PG&E with an electric pickup truck is great to save fuel and our environment, the truck is also fully capable of powering almost any tool that a PG&E technician would need to use at a work site. But the future is what’s exciting. PG&E hopes that one day the capacity could be increased to shorten or eliminate planned outages during maintenance, or even provide emergency power to businesses and residences.
In essence, an electrified pickup could hook itself up to the power infrastructure and boost the electric grid while PG&E employees work on resolving the issue at hand. Now that would be pretty cool.
PG&E hopes to add more eREV pickups to their fleet down the road.