If you thought Tesla would be first to market with an electric pickup truck, you’re wrong. Workhorse, which specializes in fleet vehicles, has beat it to the punch. If all goes as planned, in 2018 you’ll start to see the Workhorse W-15.
Think the idea of an electric truck is dumb? Consider that electric motors are great for instant peak torque, helping to tow or haul big loads in stop-and-go situations without problems.
What about it running out of juice and leaving you stranded? Well, the W-15 is a range-extended plug-in, or in other words it has a gasoline engine, too, donated from the BMW i3. The electric-only range is 80 miles, which Workhorse says is enough for most in-town runs. Hybrid range is 310 miles. Fuel economy is great at an estimated 75 MPGe.
You can use the onboard engine as a generator at worksites. In the frunk (front trunk) there are high and low voltage power outlets, so you can plug in power tools or just about anything else.
Without a traditional big V-8 up front, there’s more of a crumple zone, so safety should be improved. That’ll make risk management departments happy. So will a lane centering system and automatic braking. With the powertrain in the lower part of the truck, there isn’t nearly as much of a rollover risk. Workhorse believes the W-15 will be the safest pickup ever built, at least until Tesla or Volvo makes one.
Still not convinced? Workhorse isn’t worried, because this truck likely isn’t made for you, but instead is aimed at fleet managers.
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