VIA Motors, a commercial electric truck manufacturer, has been acquired by global EV company Ideanomics.
Ideanomics has been on a tear over the past two years, acquiring electric vehicle startups producing motorcycles, tractors, and electric delivery vans, all part of its mission to electrify mobility globally. Now, Ideanomics has acquired VIA Motors, an American commercial electric truck manufacturer that will be working to introduce its first vehicle and potentially license its hardware in the near future.
Ideanomics has brought some relatively interesting ideas to the table in terms of EV development. It even has ideas for completely wireless charging for EVs, a strategy that could be adopted for the all-electric Tesla Semi, among others.
“Our acquisition of VIA Motors brings significant revenue generation potential to Ideanomics and its shareholders,” says Ideanomics Executive Chairman Shane McMahon. ”We cannot be more thrilled to welcome VIA to Ideanomics.” The new acquisition joins five other businesses as part of Ideanomics’ electric mobility push, including its EV charger subsidiary, which “will become the preferred charging solutions provider for VIA.”
According to the VIA Motors website, the company currently sells one vehicle, its cab-chassis electric truck, which can be outfitted with any standard bed or box, much like any other commercial van. The electric truck comes in three distinct lengths and is well-fitted for delivery use, in which case a box is fitted to the back.
VIA’s truck retains the power necessary for a commercial truck with a payload of 6,900 pounds, but its AWD electric drivetrain allows owners and operators to save on fuel and repair. The system uses an 82kWh battery, capable of a range of 114 miles, and can be charged in roughly 45 minutes from 0 to 100 percent using DC fast charging.
While these specifications may not be anything to brag about yet, VIA now has a couple of tricks up its sleeves after its acquisition today. Through Ideanomics’ other partnership with Energica Motors, VIA now has access to in-house designed motors, which have already made their way into Ideanomics’ tractor business, Solectrac. Furthermore, with fresh investment from the fund, VIA may be able to do something other van startups have trouble doing; producing.
This isn’t to say VIA faces no challenge in the electric van market, far from it. Ford currently controls most of the electric van segment with its E-Transit offering. At the same time, Rivian, through investment from Amazon, continues to ramp up production of its own electric van. Even Canoo, a company on the brink of bankruptcy only a year ago, is now entering production with thousands of new orders from Walmart and the U.S. Army.
As Ideanomics continues to grow, it is continuing to become a far more formidable force in electric mobility, leaving many to wonder which other industries the company may look to invest in next. However, with each of its investments, it faces a significant challenge from the legacy brands within each industry. The coming year will certainly be a test as each of its brands looks to grow in the electrifying market.