Workhorse, an American company with headquarters in Ohio, has taken the wraps off its W-15 electric pickup truck. The reveal took place at the 2017 Alternative Clean Transportation EXPO in Long Beach, California on May 2. Afterwards, fleet managers were able to test drive the innovative W-15 — the first designed as an electric pickup truck from the ground up.
The first thing anyone thinks about when looking at a new pickup truck is styling and the W-15 has the sort of rugged good looks any truck owner wants. But the beauty of this truck is in how it is built. Composite and carbon fiber body panels are designed to shrug off dents, dings, and corrosion. You won’t see any of these vehicles driving around with gaping holes in the bodywork when they are a few years old. Sadly, many of the trucks from the Big Three automakers are little more than rusted out hulks before the last loan payment is made.
Underneath is a stainless steel ladder type chassis for strength and durability. The front end of the W-15 has 30″ of impact absorbing crush space built in to protect occupants in the event of a frontal collision. The truck also features automatic braking and a lane departure warning system.
The W-15 has a range extender gasoline engine sourced from BMW. It has a range on battery power alone of 80 miles. It can travel more than 300 miles more once the range extender engine kicks in. The battery pack is mounted low in the chassis for excellent stability but the truck still has a generous 12″ of ground clearance.
Here’s where the Workhorse W-15 really shines. It has two electric motors — on in front and one in back — for true all wheel drive capability. Total horsepower is listed as 460 and the company says it can gallop to 60 in 5.5 seconds. It is rated 75 MPGe by the EPA and gets 32 mpg city/28 highway when the range extender engine is operating. Can you think of any other full size all wheel drive pickup that hauls the mail as fast as the Workhorse W-15 and gets anywhere near 30 miles per gallon? Most of them don’t get even half that driving around town.
The W-15 is an electric vehicle first and foremost. It’s range on battery power is greater than most fleet vehicles drive in a typical work day, which means it could burn little to no gasoline in ordinary use. All it needs is to be plugged in at the end of the work day for it to be ready to got to work the following morning. But having the range extender engine means companies never have to worry about one of their trucks being stuck out in the boonies with a flat battery.
The W-15 has a load capacity of 2,200 lbs and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. It also features a 7.2 kilowatt outlet that can power tools and lights in the field directly from the battery without using the engine.Priced from $52,500, its durability, low operating costs, and reduced maintenance expenses should make it an attractive choice for fleet managers who place a premium on keep the total costs of ownership low.
Workhorse says it can build up to 60,000 W-15 pickup trucks a year at its factory in Indiana. So far, it has confirmed letters of interests for 1,500 units from a variety of companies including UPS, FedEX, and utility companies. It has no plans to sell the vehicles to private customers at this moment, but that could change once word about the W-15 starts to spread.
In advance of the official unveiling, Workhorse and Ryder Systems have announced a new partnership. According to a joint press release, “Ryder will be the primary provider of service and support for Workhorse vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Ryder will also serve as the primary distributor of the E-1oo, E-GEN and W-15 electric pickup in North America.
“Ryder is a leading maintenance provider of advanced vehicle technologies that maximize both cost-efficiency and environmental sustainability for our customers. Workhorse brings not only a strong track record in range vextended electric medium duty vehicles with the E-100 and E-GEN, but also a strong future in the light duty market with the range extended W-15 electric pickup,” said Scott Perry, Chief Technology and Procurement officer at Ryder.
“We’re excited to include Workhorse’s innovative range extended electric vehicles into our distribution and service network. This new strategic partnership will help us expand our advanced vehicle technology portfolio of innovative solutions within the commercial transportation industry.”
Source: Workhorse via e-mail