ViaMotors Vs. TeslaMotors

ViaMotors Vs. TeslaMotors

I'm sure that some of you may have heard of ViaMotors. They're a company that outfits chevy trucks, vans, and SUVs with electric motors. Here's their website:

Personally I feel as if Tesla might finally have some real competition on their hands. Sure, ViaMotors don't make fully electric cars, but it makes them a lot more efficient when it comes to gas consumption. These trucks/SUVs/vans are expected to get around 100mpg. That's huge!! Of course they're not completely independent from gas, but the high mpg makes it so that they might as well be. I'm excited about this personally. A SUV (the model x doesn't count, because in my eyes it isn't a SUV, it's more like a van) that has excellent fuel economy. I can't wait

I'd like to hear your guys' opinions. Do you think that ViaMotors will eventually trump over TeslaMotors or do you think that they'll just end up failing?

Brian H | November 24, 2013

Looks plausible, if the figures are right. Competence in execution will be everything.

bonaire | November 24, 2013

It is 100mpge. Via is creating a series hybrid truck which can decrease gas usage sharply for fleet users, which are their first customers. The electric companies would be great candidates for them since they can self fuel the battery recharge. Bob Lutz is part of the Via Motors roll out.

bonaire | November 24, 2013

But also, the real issue is the true sustainability reach. This is still very minimal of a help versus the aggressive construction and growth going on in Asia. Whole cities were and are being built in China and India for further population growth. China is now relaxing their one child policy. Get ready for china 2.0 (billion) sometime this century.

Earl and Nagin ... | November 24, 2013

Via Motors faces the challenge that they are an after-market add-on to a GMC truck or van. They will never be competitive with an OEM building an EV from the ground up as they start at the OEM's retail price, then add their electric drive system.
That said, I really like their products and can see how for certain industries, they could be a good deal. They can't be a long-term play, however, since, if they start selling well, the OEMs will simply offer a PHEV truck and under cut Via Motors, similar to what Toyota's Plugin Prius did to the converters doing the same thing.
They scored great placement at the LA auto show, with 2 big trucks on display right out in the Lobby of one of the halls that everyone passes by.

Brian H | November 24, 2013

Many a vapour dissipates before dawn.

grega | November 24, 2013

I think the concept is great. If 90% of the time you can run on batteries, or 99% of the time, this gets rid of range anxiety.

Reality is not so good. You still need an ICE and the complexities that go with it - a gas tank, exhaust, ventilation etc. It's a lot of extras for a small amount of use. Then again, if you've ever owned a speed boat you may know that outboard motors have so much less problems than inboard - and you can take them off easily for a service. Maybe there's room for a hybrid equivalent.

In the series hybrids the 'generators' theoretically run at an ideal RPM which should be more efficient in city driving, but every example I've see uses more petrol when charging than a regular car would use. There's not that many examples though. (Of course, if 99% of the time you're fine, it doesn't really matter if the last 1% uses double the petrol... but that's not what articles would say.).

Lastly if Redox's fuel cells (low price, run cooler on regular fuels, runs on diesel) really work, and then get cool enough to add to a car, that becomes very interesting - but now we shift the whole argument to fuel cells, and then hydrogen fuel cells (which run cooler) and so forth. An electric car 99% of the time with a hydrogen fuel cell for the rest, may as well be an electric car with a much smaller battery.

I still think the likely next step is halving the LiON range, but having a long range 2nd half of the battery pack that dramatically increases range, but charges more slowly and has a shorter recharge lifespan - that way most users are rarely accessing the long range part of the battery.

DHrivnak | November 24, 2013

Right now they are in two different segments. I have seen some Via Motors trucks/vans and they are impressive. Solid all electric range and can generate 110V or 220V power at the job site all day long on battery. And if they need more range they are still more fuel efficient than any other truck on the market.

Tesla is not able to grow fast enough to meet all the demand out there. So I wish others like Via Motors the best.

In my part of the country trucks outsell luxury cars at least 4-1.

blue adept | November 26, 2013

@moneyman7710 & all other Tesla detractors:

Smith Electric Vehicles, and several other HYBRID vehicle manufacturers such as Via, have been around for a little while now and will NEVER pose even a remotely substantial threat to Tesla as Tesla's lineup are actual FULL ELECTRIC vehicles and not some Frankensteined conglomerate of mostly antiquated technologies that amount to nothing more than a feeble, and somewhat desperate, attempt to cling to a dying technology whose byproduct of usage results in our and our environments' own death from poisoning and destruction and devastation.

Companies/emerging technologies developers should demonstrate some ingenuity and innovation and devise an actual full electric competitor to Tesla and not merely clinger-on's to a highly inefficient and toxic has-been.

Just saying.

Petitefogger | December 1, 2013

The Motley Fool thinks that Via will be eating Tesla's electric-truck lunch:

(stub article; registration required)