Via Motors' VTRUX extended-range pickup

Via Motors says its extended-range plug-in trucks can provide power generation for something a little more essential than a tailgate party or a camping trip. The company, which notably has former General Motors executive Bob Lutz as a pitchman, showed off one of its VTRUX pickups at San Francisco's Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative event sponsored by PG&E late last month and said the truck could double as an emergency power generator, Plug In Cars reports.

The VTRUX is based on the Chevrolet Silverado and was displayed at the event alongside models such as the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid and a Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in. The big truck has some options those don't, though, like 120- and 240-volt power outlets that can be used by workmen. With its 300-kilowatt motor and a 150-kilowatt generator, the VTRUX can also serve as an temporary emergency power source, even for utility companies looking to get darkened neighborhoods back up and running.

Via first showed off its pickup (and SUV and van models with similar powertrains) at the Detroit Auto Show in early 2012, and added its heavier-duty XTRUX line earlier this year. At the time, Lutz said the beasts could achieve fuel efficiency levels of more than 100 miles per gallon.