Fuel Smarts

Workhorse Unveils PHEV Pickup Concept

May 02, 2017, by Chris Brown

Photo of Workhorse W-15 by Chris Brown.
Photo of Workhorse W-15 by Chris Brown.

Workhorse Group Inc. unveiled a working concept version of its W-15 plug-in hybrid pickup truck at the ACT Expo conference Long Beach, Calif. on May 2.

The W-15 light-duty platform design is an extension of the E-Gen electric technology used in Workhorse medium-duty delivery trucks, the company says. Unladen, the half-ton pickup is expected to deliver an 80-mile battery range. The truck is equipped with an onboard gasoline generator that operates after battery power has been depleted.

The company is planning to build 30 preproduction units and begin road and crash tests this year, according to Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse Group. Production is slated for late 2018. "We have enough pre-orders to justify production," Burns says.

While pricing won't be announced until production, "We will sell this truck on its financial merits," Burns says. "Over the life of this truck, it'll be less expensive to own than a gasoline truck."

The company says it will announce a leasing partner. The lease will include maintenance and fuel, and "should allow a fleet to make money on the first day over a conventional truck lease with maintenance and fuel," Burns says.

Burns says the Panasonic battery pack can be sized to the daily use of the fleet, which would help fleets maximize total cost of ownership. The onboard generator is an insurance policy that will extend range, particularly when the truck is fully loaded, Burns says.

The truck — made of a carbon fiber composite — will be offered in one trim package, with one bed length and safety features such as automatic braking and lane centering. Burns says the company is considering ¾- and 1-ton versions.

Workhorse also announced today a partnership with Ryder System to be the exclusive maintenance provider for Workhorse's entire electric vehicle fleet, which includes the hybrid-electric step van in use by UPS.

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