bob lutz via motors plug-in hybrid truck

When Bob Lutz joined forces with hybrid conversion company Via Motors earlier this fall, we wrote that, "it's unclear exactly what kind of role Lutz will play in the company or what his duties will be." Turns out that at least one of his assignments will be to take to the stage at the Detroit Auto Show in January and officially introduce the "world's first Extended Range Electric Truck." As always, Lutz is bold in his choice of words, saying in a statement:

VIA Motors has developed the first extended range electric powertrain capable of replacing the V8 engine. It was my great privilege to introduce the Chevy Volt, and it will be a great honor to introduce the world's first line of eREV Trucks, Vans and SUVs by VIA Motors.

The eREV vehicles – all converted GM models, we believe; the truck above is a Silverado – can travel between 30 and 40 miles per charge and then burn gas in an onboard generator to go another 360 or so miles before needing to suck down some electrons and/or gasoline. All three models will be on display in Detroit and the pick-up is already avaiable to order. Via hopes to start production next year and hit an annual production target of 20,000 units (of all its models) "over the next few years."

Via Motors grew out of Raser Technologies. The company first made a name for itself by converting a Hummer H3 to a plug-in hybird. Via wants everyone to konw that its eREVs use "advanced, non-flammable, lithium ion batteries," which we imagine may have been somewhat uncomfortable to discuss with Lutz in the room. Or not. You can see an at-ease Lutz talking about the Via Motors eREV truck after the jump.