Verizon has collaborated with electric-vehicle developer and manufacturer VIA Motors to produce an extended-range electric cargo van. VIA developed and built the van, based on Verizon’s direction and fleet concepts, and expects it to achieve 100 miles per gallon with near zero emissions. Verizon will now test and deploy two of the vans in New Jersey and New York.
Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors and a VIA board member, unveiled Verizon’s new vehicle on Monday at the North American International Auto Show.
Because the average total miles per day traveled by Verizon’s fleet is low, the company expects the new vans to operate entirely under electric power most days; doing so would annually reduce CO2emissions by approximately 2.4 metric tons and reduce the use of petroleum fuel by about 750 gallons.
The dashboard of the new van is equipped with a removable tablet, which aims to prevent distracted driving by providing voice prompts and easy-to-read route information. Verizon will also provide technological capabilities, through its acquisition of Hughes Telematics, including fuel and route optimization, vehicle maintenance and diagnostics, emergency assistance, and voice and data services.
Overall, VIA anticipates the Verizon electrified work vehicles should improve fleet fuel economy by up to 300% while cutting emissions in half or more. The vehicles have up to 40 miles of all-electric range, using Li-ion batteries, with the added capability to drive additional miles by using VIA’s range extender.
In addition, VIA’s exportable power system option can provide 15 kW of continuous 110-volt or 220-volt power for emergency or job-site application.