Gallery: Bob Lutz Unveils Via Motors’ eREV VTRUX Extended-Range EV Pick...

Cigar chomping auto exec Bob Lutz (who recently went from hating on electric vehicles to pushing GM to develop the Chevy Volt) introduced Via Motors yesterday at the 2012 North American International Auto Show by unveiling the company's first extended-range electric vehicle, a full-size light duty pickup truck called the eREV VTRUX. Lutz sits on the board of Via Motors, whose 100-mpg VTRUX attempts to replace a full V8 engine with a hugely powerful 402-horsepower electric motor (with 300 lb-ft of torque), a larger version of the same system that allows the Chevy Volt to beat EV range anxiety. The coolest thing about the VTRUX line is that the vehicles can serve as generators on the go, offering both 120V and 240V outlets for charging power tools, camping gear, or even your house as needed. Acceleration and top speed are a little on the weak side, with a 0-60 time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 85 mph due to the weight of the vehicle, but the VTRUX offers a payload of 1500 pounds and can be operated for less than 60 cents per the equivalent of a gallon of gas.

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