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Workhorse Plans a PHEV Pick Up Truck

Nov 9, 2016


Fleets and Fuels

November 8, 2016

By Rich Piellisch

Reports Letters of Interest from Duke Energy, Orlando, Says W-15 Will Be First-Ever Electric Pickup from OEM

Workhorse is developing a range-extended electric pickup with a 2018 production target, the company said yesterday. Duke Energy is supporting the effort with a letter of interest, as is the city of Orlando, Workhorse says.

The new W-15 PHEV/plug-in hybrid electric vehicle will be “the first plug-in electric pickup in the world from an OEM,” says Workhorse CEO Steve Burns.

“Lower fueling and maintenance costs are expected to deliver lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for fleet managers,” Workhorse says.

“We are trying to do this to do about anything a Ford 150 can do,” Burns told F&F. Workhorse is aiming for its W-15 range-extended pick-up to have a battery-only range of 80 miles. It’s to be in production by 2018.

Workhorse is aiming for its W-15 range-extended pick-up to have a battery-only range of 80 miles. It’s to be in production by 2018.

80 Miles on Batteries Alone

Battery-only range will be about 80 miles – sufficient for most utility work days, Burns says. But the addition of a trailer, or the need to travel in case of an emergency, require more range, hence the range-extender.

Duke operates about 100 electric vehicles now, including about 40 passenger vehicles and small bucket trucks from Via Motors, which installs electric drives in purchased GM and other OEM vehicles. Most of the utility’s purchases, says fleet manager Mike Allison, fit with the new Workhorse offering.

Panasonic & BMW

“We think as an industry that electrification of vehicles is a good thing,” he says. According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Duke could buy as many as 500 of the new PHEVs.

Workhorse uses 18650 lithium ion cells from Panasonic in its existing E-Gen range-extended and E-100 full battery electric vans, and will continue to do so for the W-15 – the company has in fact announced acquisition of a facility for battery pack manufacturing in Loveland, Ohio, where production is to commence in the first quarter of 2017.

Workhorse has found a new Tier One supplier of traction motors for the W-15 (the existing trucks use motors from TM4) and is expected to continue with BMW (F&F, May 9, 2016) for range-extending fuel engines.

Workhorse plans to offer 7.2 kilowatts of exportable power capability in the W-15, with an option for 14.4 kilowatts.

Exportable Power & Safety

“Millions of pickup trucks are sold in the United States each year and pickup trucks are a leading vehicle platform of choice for fleets,” Workhorse says in its W-15 announcement. “The electric powered W-15 represents an opportunity to bring tremendous fuel savings and emissions reduction to the streets of America without sacrificing functionality.

“Additionally, the W-15’s goal is to be the safest pickup truck on the market with its large frontal crumble zone and low center of gravity.”

“We believe this will be the first plug-in range-extended electric pickup truck built from the ground up by an OEM in America,” Burns says in the release. “It’s not a conversion vehicle.

“We feel the extended range capability from the combination of Panasonic batteries and an on-board generator, will deliver the performance that fleet managers expect from a work truck.”

See the W-15 at ACT Expo

“We expect to have a full working prototype at the ACT show,” Burns says. “That’s the goal.”

The next Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo, organized by Fleets & Fuels publisher GNA/Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, takes place May 1-4, 2017 at Southern California’s Long Beach Convention Center.

Read the full article here.

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