Workhorse W-15 Hybrid Pickup Preview Nov 29, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
When most people think of pickup trucks, they picture a gas or maybe diesel engine, but Workhorse will soon be changing this. Workhouse is known for making delivery vans for commercial fleets, and their next project is a hybrid pickup that will arrive next spring. Intended for commercial use, the Workhorse W-15 light-duty pickup is an innovative plug-in hybrid that will be one of the safest and most efficient vehicles on the market.
The W-15 will have a Panasonic lithium-ion battery pack that works together with a “range-extender” internal combustion generator forming the E-GEN hybrid chassis. Already in use on their delivery vans, together, this system will be able to take you 80 miles on purely electric power or even further when you factor in the hybrid system. The onboard generator helps to extend the range of this vehicle up to 310 miles. When fully electric, the system gets 75 MPGe. When using the E-GEN, drivers should see 28 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg in the city. These figures put traditional pickups to shame and give the W-15 a huge advantage for commercial operators.
The vehicle has four-wheel drive along with regenerative braking. The four-wheel drive enhances stability and traction while the regenerative braking boosts efficiency, giving you those impressive numbers. The system has an integrated battery pack along with two electric motors, one in the front and one in the rear. To ensure that the Workhorse W-15 is incredibly safe, it features a large crumple zone to help you and your passengers remain protected in the case of a collision. This truck also has automatic braking and lane-centering technology, building on expected safety features. It also has a low center of gravity to help with handling and reduce the risk of rollovers.
Perfect for Fleets
Workhorse designed the W-15 electric pickup for fleet use in particular, so it should come as no surprise that it has a superior towing capacity. The Crew Cab configuration provides seating for five passengers, and there is a cargo capacity of up to 2,200 pounds. The GVW is also impressive at 7,200 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about towing or hauling. To make the most of the capacity, the W-15 has lightweight composite body panels and a high-strength stainless steel frame. Inside, you will find outlets for both high and low voltage.
The W-15 will most likely hit the market in 2018. When it arrives, it should be the very first plug-in electric pickup with an extended range that an OEM in America has created from the ground up. If this model is as successful as Workhorse anticipates, the company will follow it up with larger W-25 and W-35 models with increased weight and capability. For now, the company anticipates that government agencies, municipalities, and utilities will be the biggest customers, but anyone can pre-order the W-15. Electrification continues in every aspect of the automotive world, but that doesn’t mean the pickup truck is going anywhere.