VIA Motors said it won business worth $80 million from Sun Country Highway, which wants to offer electric vehicles and charging stations to businesses like hotels.
Privately funded Sun Country Highways has built over 1,000 charging stations across Canada and wants to provide the infrastructure for coast-to-coast electric vehicles to recharge. Sun Country will also buy electrified vehicles from VIA Motors, which are Chevrolet Express passenger vans converted to extended range electric technology similar to that used in the Chevy Volt.
“In phase one of the project we electrified hundreds of businesses across the country including placing about 100 charges at Best Western Hotels,” said Sun Country founder Kent Rathwell.
“In phase two, we will deploy VIA’s electric trucks and vans and have already placed an $8 million order with a deposit to VIA for the first 100 vehicles. We have signed a purchase agreement with VIA committing us to about $80 million of electrified vehicles overall, to meet the demand of the expanding project,” Rathwell said.
Former GM executive Bob Lutz is an investor in VIA Motors, and told the press conference at the Detroit auto show that VIA Motors converted vans will also have a solar power option. Earlier, Lutz presented for a company he half owns, VL Automotive, which plans to convert plug-in hybrid Fisker Karmas back to conventional power.
Sun Country Highway says it has created the world’s largest universal fast charging network from coast to cost across North America, making nearly 90 per cent of Canadian highways accessible to electric vehicles for free charging.
VIA Motors is a privately held electric vehicle and manufacturing company.