VIA Presentation at PlugIn 2013 by Alan Perriton

Alan Perriton, President of VIA Motors

Alan Perriton, President of VIA Motors

This presentation was originally given by Alan Perriton, president of VIA Motors at the Plug In 2013 Show on October 1, 2013 in San Diego, CA.

I am Alan Perriton, President of VIA Motors. I joined VIA after a long career with General Motors serving as President of GM Career and Head of GM’s Asia-Pacific Expansion Initiatives. Including a lead role in the formation of the Saturn Corporation and NUMMI, the GM Toyota joint venture in California where Tesla now builds their vehicles. In Asia, I became keenly aware of new global trends and the need for electrification of transportation. That’s why VIA continues to attract top leaders in the industry like Bob Lutz, former Vice Chairman of General Motors and Father of the Chevy Volt and other leading industry executives.

Bob has been outstanding addition to VIA’s Board of Directors and a strong vocal supporter of electrification. In addition, John Weber, former President and CEO of Remy International, a key electric motor supplier to the auto industry recently joined VIA as CEO. VIA works with OEMs to electrify the top selling work vehicles in America … Trucks and Vans. We provide in-factory new vehicle electric powertrain upgrades. VIA’s VTRUX have demonstrated in two years of fleet testing that they can dramatically reduce emissions and improve gas fuel economy up to 100 miles per gallon or more. More importantly, unlike a hybrid, light duty work vehicles can now drive in zero emission all electric mode most of the time.

I frequently heard consumer say “I’ll buy an electric vehicle when they cost the same as a gas vehicle. ” What would you do if you found out that you could drive the most advanced technology electric truck for free? Paid for entirely out of fuel and operational savings. This is now possible based on how many miles you drive and how often you charge your truck. In order to understand the total value we have to remember the lessons we learned when buying ink for our printer. After all, what’s a better deal? A free printer or free ink? We all know what it’s like to find out that the $50 printer requires $85 ink cartridges. We now spend as much or more on gas than we do for the vehicle.

Which is a better deal?

Think of savings potential if you own electric utility and make your own “ink” or have installed solar to generate your own electricity. Gas prices have doubled every 10 years since 1996. Where will they be 10 years from now? Today, it’s common to pay as much as $400 a month in gas for your truck which is often more than the truck loan payment. Which fuel will you choose? In the long run it will matter more than the sticker price of the vehicle. This is called the total cost of ownership and it already favors electric drive for the work vehicle today. This chart shows how much more it will cost you to buy gas for a typical cargo or hotel shuttle van over the next 8 years driving 75 miles a day.


If you switched to an electric cargo van, you would save over $86,000 per vehicle over the next 8 years if you simply charge twice a day. Multiply this number by the number of vehicles in your fleet and you can see the powerful economics that will drive the electric revolution. A large utility or telecom fleet with a thousand vans could save millions of dollars annually. Electricity as a vehicle fuel also performs CNG. Here you can see how fuel in your truck or van with electricity can cost less than half of CNG. Without requiring installation of an expensive CNG fueling station and with a flexibility to charge at home or drive anywhere using the range extender and conventional gas.

Why did we pick trucks to electrify first? As reported by the department of energy, light-duty trucks account for more consumption and emissions than both automobiles and larger class trucks. VTRUX are helping to accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles by displacing more gas, electric VTRUX can save enough money to pay for themselves. In fact, full size electric trucks actually payback faster and reduce more emissions than small cars. Why trucks? Pick up trucks are the number one selling vehicle in America and along with SUVs and vans account for half of all vehicle sold annually. The average fleet drives about 15,000 miles per year per truck or less than 40 miles a day.

With the first 40 miles on batteries each day most vehicles will drive primarily within battery range with a daily charge and will reduce gas consumption by over 80%. Some fleets which drive high millage routes found that they can pay for the eREV truck entirely from fuel and maintenance savings over time. In addition, when using the gas engine only as a generator, gas fuel economy can be improved from approximately 14 miles per gallon to up to 25 miles per gallon on highway using the generator. VIA is also the leader in integrating the iPad into the work vehicle to provide low cost telematic information, smart charging and easy to use hybrid vehicle controls.

VIA’s extended range electric work trucks and vans come with a versatile 15 kilowatt power export option. With 240 volt and 120 volt outlets on the truck to power job site tools or provide mobile emergency power. This feature alone can offset the cost of batteries. To electric utilities or telecom fleets this can add millions of dollars of value above and beyond fuel and emission savings. VIA was named the 2012 Green Truck of the Year at the National Truck Show showing here at the announcement of a contract with Verizon, one of America’s largest fleets. In California, fleets can take advantage of the hybrid vehicle incentive program rebates from as much as $8,000 to as high as $28,000 per vehicle in addition to the $7,500 Federal Tax credit.

CARB provides a $2,000 rebate in addition just for the power export option that helps reduce stationary emissions from diesel generators by tapping in to the vehicles battery and generator. VIA has been selected to supply EPRI and the Department of Energy with up to 2,000 light-duty electric pick up trucks and vans to leading fleets, to introduce this promising new technology. In this group, electric utilities and other fleets will have an opportunity for early evaluation and can play a large role in the introduction of the technology to their own customer fleets. The program will pay the incremental cost up to $7,000 per vehicle.

In addition, eight of the nation’s top ten fleets have already signed agreements with VIA including Verizon, Coca-Cola, GSA, The Department of Defense, Aramark, Duke Energy, Pacific Gas & Electric and many others. Utility fleets have played a significant and proactive role in the development and early deployment of this plug-in technology. To find out how much you can save by driving on electricity, go to and use this powerful calculator. Also note how your savings can increase by utilizing VIA’s 14.4 kilowatt on board fast charger that can use new low cost 80 amp J1772 chargers like ClipperCreek to recharge the truck during a lunch, dinner break or other time off.

This is green for free. Here you can see what a difference it makes if you drive 25,000 miles a year and charge twice a day. In this scenario, you have the potential to payback the full cost of the vehicle through fuel and operational savings. What’s next? How would you like to drive your family? In a full size SUV that gets over 100 miles per gallon and can power your home in an emergency? VIA will soon introduce the world’s first full size extended range electric SUV. I am convinced that this type of advanced electric vehicle will become the preferred technology as gas prices continue their 20 year trend upward. We seek to end our dependence on oil.

It’s good for business, it’s good for the environment and it’s good for America. Edison who had the vision for our electric future 100 years ago said “We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel, when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” Thank you for this opportunity. We are truly in a new era for the industry and the forward thinking utility and other fleets are leading the way. VIA is here to help. The electric revolution is here to stay.