Looking to spearhead the charge towards cleaner, greener pickup trucks, the Workhorse Group, which is best known for supplying its E-Gen step vans to a host of commercial entities including the US Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, DHL, Penske and Ryder, has unveiled its latest creation, the Workhorse W-15 Electric Pickup Truck.

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Like Workhorse’s E-Gen vans, the new W-15 is a plug-in hybrid that matches electric power with a range-extending gasoline engine. In this case, a 230-horse electric motor energizes each axle while a 2-cylinder BMW REx motorcycle engine functions as a charge-producing range extender when the W-15’s 60-kWh Panasonic lithium-ion battery pack is depleted. Workhorse projects the new truck will deliver up to 80 miles of pure EV driving with a 310-mile total range. They also expect the W-15 to tow about 5,500 pounds and tote roughly 2,200 pounds. To reduce weight, the W-15 prototype is fitted with carbon fiber bodywork, although it remains to be seen whether that feature actually will transition into production. One cool touch that will remain is the ability to use the truck’s battery pack as a remote energy source for various power tools.  

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Although it could appeal to individuals, Workhorse Group, which has its production facility in Union City, Indiana, is aiming the W-15 Electric Pickup at fleets. When the truck was revealed at the ACT EXPO show in Long Beach, California, it announced a 10-year partnership with Ryder as primary distributor and servicer. "The W-15 is designed to offer safety, efficiency, advanced technology and sustainability," said Steve Burns, Workhorse CEO. "We feel the reception we've seen from fleets shows that these features and benefits are all things that fleets are looking for in their pickup trucks."

Workhorse is targeting a starting MSRP of $52,000 for the new W-15 Electric Pickup before any federal, state or local incentives; spiffs that could bring its final cost down into the $40-$45K range. Production is set to start by the end of 2018. 

More EVs and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles… 

2017 Ford Focus Electric: Bigger battery, more range, lower cost

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