Canada is going to soon make a big mark in the global market for electric trucks and vans, thanks to a deal with Via Motors. Sun Country Highway, a Canadian company dedicated to the adoption of zero emission transportation, has inked an $80-million deal with Via to purchase plug-in hybrids for businesses across the country. So far, an order for the first 100 extended-range utility vehicles with an $8-million deposit has been placed with Via. These work trucks and vans, all converted General Motors products with a "solid" 40-mile electric range, are efficient enough that Bot Lutz says they make the Toyota Prius look like a gas guzzler.
Sun Country Highway has already installed 1,000 charging stations across the country, allowing EV owners to travel coast-to-coast with access to free charging. The next phase will bring charging stations for electric shuttle vans and trucks. About 100 chargers were placed at Best Western Hotels for the project, said Sun Country founder Kent Rathwell. During the next phase, Via's electric trucks will be deployed to meet demands coming from the expanding project, he said. The Best Western Seven Oaks hotel in Regina in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan will be the first hotel in this chain to offer electrified shuttle van services as part of the Sun Country project.