By 2019, fleet buyers will be able to get their hands on what we think may be the industry’s first bespoke electric pickup truck.
Dubbed W-15 and built by a U.S. company called Workhorse, this truck bears a striking resemblance to the Honda Ridgeline but is, in fact, a proprietary design. All the W-15 has in common with any other vehicle is its range-extending three-cylinder gasoline engine, which is sourced from BMW.
Okay, so we called this an electric truck, which is true enough: the battery pack that lives under the floor and comprises part of its structure can store enough juice to move the truck about 130 km on a charge. When that’s gone, the three-cylinder fires up to run a generator that supplies electricity to motors at the front and rear axles.
Regardless of where the electricity is coming from, Workhorse says the W-15 generates 460 hp and provides sub-six-second acceleration from naught to highway speeds.
And when you’re not driving, you can draw on the battery to run power tools or other electrical devices. The W-15’s battery pack requires seven or eight hours to charge from fully depleted at a Level 2 charging station.
Workhorse says its truck can handle a 1,000-kg payload, but towing capacity is less impressive, at 2,300 kg, a figure that only matches what most mid-size crossovers can manage.
Notably, the body is made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic; we’d suggest the interior looks too much like a toddler’s toy to be taken seriously by many dedicated truck users.
The W-15 is slated to go into production in late 2018, with heavier duty models (to be called W-25 and W-35) to follow. The intent is to sell to fleet buyers, but they’ve given no word as to whether they intend to try for a slice of the lucrative consumer marketplace.
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