Jay Leno features VIA VTRUX with Bob Lutz on “Leno’s Garage”
The VIA VTRUX was featured on an episode of Jay Lenos’ Garage. Jay Leno, an avid car collector and a champion for alternative energies, is joined by Bob Lutz, the “ultimate car guy.” He’s the former GM vice chairman and chairman of VIA Motors; and as Leno introduced him, the “James Bond of the car world.” Leno said the VIA VTRUX is a “vehicle that will revolutionize the industry.”
“This is more or less a truck version of the Chevy volt. It gets incredible gas mileage. If you run power tools, you can run it off the generator,” said Leno, “It’s electricity when you want it and gas when you need it.”
With an electric-only car, Jay said he could either take his wife to the hospital or go to the mall, but he couldn’t do both in the same day. With the VTRUX, range doesn’t become a limitation.
“It’s what we call an extended-range electric vehicle. It has 40 miles purely electric drive,” said Lutz, “and a small V6 generator set that can give you another 400 miles. That generator can also run all your power tools and, in the case of a power outage, you can run your whole household off of your pickup truck. In mixed driving, this thing will average about 100 mpg.”
Trucks are America’s top selling vehicle. “Given a free choice,” said Lutz, “this is what Americans buy. For the past 20 years, the top selling category in the US is always the full size pickup truck, and also the SUV. The only reason sport utility sales are slowing down is because of the environmental stigma attached to them and also fuel prices.”
VIA is getting very high demand from fleet customers. “Fleets with this type of truck generally run 40 to 50 miles or less a day. This means they’ll be running on electricity most of the time. The monthly fuel savings more than compensate for the cost of the truck. Owning these is way lower than owning a conventional truck”
“It’s got plenty of acceleration, plenty of power,” said Leno. “I wouldn’t know I was in a hybrid car if you didn’t tell me, except there’s no noise. This is what the future is. It’s pretty amazing.”