Workhorse range-extended electric pickup truck announced for future


Last year, Amp Electric brought the Workhorse truck group from Navistar (formerly International), with the goal of developing electric commercial vehicles.

Since then, Workhorse has delivered 125 electric delivery vans to United Parcel Service (UPS).

Now it plans to expand into the pickup-truck market as well.

CHECK OUT: Amp Electric's Workhorse Wants To Be 'Tesla Of Trucks' For Electric Delivery Vans (Feb 2015)

The company recently released renderings for an extended-range electric truck that it hopes to put into production by 2018.

Called the W-15, it will have one electric motor powering each axle, with a small gasoline engine acting as the range extender.

A battery pack of unspecified size will be located under the cab floor, with lithium-ion cells provided by Panasonic.

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

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Workhorse claims an electric-only range of 80 miles, and a total range of 310 miles on both gasoline and electric power.

It expects the W-15 to achieve 75 MPGe on electric power, and 28 mpg city and 32 mpg highway on gasoline power.

(Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, or MPGe, is a measurement of how far a car can travel electrically on the same amount of energy as contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.)

ALSO SEE: Mercedes explores ways to turn its Sprinter van all-electric

Workhorse promises seating for five, likely with a four-door cab configuration similar to the "crew cabs" offered by mainstream pickup manufacturers.

Despite the range extender and front electric motor, Workhorse claims the W-15 will have a front trunk, akin to what owners affectionately call the "frunk" in Tesla electric cars.

Workhorse plans to target fleet buyers with the W-15, and claims to have already received "non-binding letters of interest from Duke Energy and the City of Orlando municipal fleet.

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

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Electric powertrains could be fairly well suited to fleet vehicles.

These vehicles tend to operate on predictable routes within a small radius of where they are based, so relatively short electric ranges are less of an issue.

Fleet vehicles also rack up considerably more annual mileage than the average passenger car, so electrifying them could have a very meaningful impact on overall emissions.

MORE: Tesla 'Master Plan' update defends Autopilot; electric SUV, pickup, autonomous bus coming

Among Workhorse's competition is Via Motors, which also markets extended-range electric pickup trucks.

Backed by former General Motors product czar Bob Lutz, it retrofits existing GM trucks with new powertrains rather than building its own.

Elon Musk has also said that Tesla will develop its own all-electric pickup truck, although that vehicle will likely be aimed more at individual buyers than fleets.

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