Orem-based VIA Motors International Inc. has announced that Robert Purcell has been appointed the company’s new CEO, replacing Peter Guile. Purcell has been chief operating officer of the company since March 2015.

“We are really excited to now have Bob as the CEO of VIA Motors,” said Bob Lutz, VIA’s chairman of the board. “Bob has deep automotive experience and has led electric and hybrid vehicle programs and companies for over 25 years. Bob has the brains, the passion and the guts to be a great CEO.”

VIA Motors, founded in 2010 by Lutz, is an electric development and manufacturing company. VIA produces extended-range electric vehicles by modifying trucks, vans and SUVs to run with electric motors. VIA purchases basic vehicles from General Motors and replaces the conventional gas powertrain with an extended-range electric-drive powertrain. VIA then sells directly to fleets under the VTrux brand name. The company has about 75 employees.

Purcell is a recognized leader in the world auto industry, Lutz said. He held key leadership positions at General Motors; Boston-Power battery company; and Protean Electric, a manufacturer of in-wheel electric drive motors.

“I am honored to become the CEO of VIA Motors,” said Purcell. “VIA is an industry leader, providing cost-effective electric and hybrid drive systems for commercial vehicles applications. We are now looking to expand our presence in the world markets, and I am excited to be leading that effort.”

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