Workhorse W-15 electric pickup looks to take on Tesla and Ford
By Gary Gastelu Published May 03, 2017 Fox News
Tesla plans to build an electric pickup a few years from now, while Ford will start selling a hybrid F-150 in 2020.
They’ll both have competition when they do.
Commercial truckmaker Workhorse has unveiled a plug-in hybrid pickup that goes on sale in late 2018. The company currently specializes in hybrid and electric step vans, but built an all-new custom chassis for its first pickup offering, the W-15, which has a sci fi movie-style composite and carbon fiber body riding on a traditional steel frame.
Between the rails is a powertrain comprised of a 45 kilowatt battery pack with Panasonic cells that drives a BorgWarner electric motor at each axle to create a combined 460 hp all-wheel-drive system. The full-size crew cab can tow up to 5,000 pounds and carry a 2,200-pound payload capacity, both roughly comparable to a strong V6 truck. An outlet built into the bedside can provide on site power for tools directly from the battery.
The electric range is 80 miles per four- to five-hour charge, but there’s also a gasoline engine onboard that works as a generator for longer trips. Workhorse’s hybrid vans, which are typically used for local routes, have a two-cylinder BMW engine for this purpose, but company CEO Steve Burns says the pickup will feature a more robust three-cylinder so it’s not compromised during highway driving. He hasn’t yet announced what brand is supplying the engine, but BMW makes a three-cylinder that could be up to the task, as does Ford.
Much like a dual motor Tesla Model X SUV, Burns expects the instant electric torque and traction to make it one of the quickest trucks around, with a 0-60 mph time under 5.5 seconds. The low center of gravity provided by the batteries and its four-wheel independent suspension also promise relatively excellent handling, according to Burns.
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