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Question Of The Day: What Are Your Opinions On Hybrid Work Vehicles?

Question Of The Day: What Are Your Opinions On Hybrid Work Vehicles?

Meet the Workhorse W-15. Made by the same company that underpins box vans you probably see on a daily basis (the likes of which include fleet vehicles for FedEx, UPS and Frito-Lay, among others), Workhorse has decided that they wanted to build an electric pickup truck with a range-extending engine. And they have…while this is a debut vehicle and we don’t know much besides what the company is saying, they claim that they will start delivering them next year…in other words, don’t expect too much to change. The details are pretty interesting: a BMW fuel engine (we suspect the 1.5L three-cylinder unit found in the i8) will extend the range of a Panasonic lithium-ion battery pack, which on it’s own has an eighty-mile range. The engine alone has 310 miles of range in fuel reserves, and is being quoted at 460 horsepower. It’s got all-wheel-drive, an independent rear suspension, can carry 2,200 pounds of payload and tow 5,000 pounds. For a standard pickup, there’s some tradeoffs, but for a hybrid EV? Not bad at all.

Our question to you, readers…especially you readers that work your trucks like they were meant to be worked…is this: Do you think that EV/hybrid technology is a viable option? Workhorse already has technology similar to the W-15 in their Step Van chassis and there is plenty of research and testing underway around the world to determine viability. But research papers are one thing…real-world is another. We aren’t talking a Prius wearing an International badge here, we’re talking a full-kill work truck that sips fuel like a Prius. (Yes, there is a difference.) With diesel power becoming increasingly villified and the calls for cleaner energy remaining constant, do you see a truck like the W-15 being the answer?

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7 thoughts on “Question Of The Day: What Are Your Opinions On Hybrid Work Vehicles?

  1. Matt Cramer

    My main concern is how well the batteries will hold up to using it for serious hauling.

  2. john

    Wonder what it would be like to drive around a truck that people point and laugh at? It’s specs give it more of a” Work Pony” vibe at the price of a Kentucky Derby winner.

  3. coffeejoejava

    I like the overall idea of it but cost, and battery durability are my two main concerns. A truck that sips fuel like this but requires an expensive battery change after 50,000 miles of use is not worth the price or fuel savings.

    I was reading an article a while back and there was serious contention between electric cars and gasoline cars back in the beginning. Reading it, battery technology really hasn’t advanced much further in the 100+ years that debate was raging. Until they can get hte battery life and duration to equal a tank of gas, I will stay with my Dodge Ram 1500 short bed Hemi!!!!

  4. Brendan M

    Don’t laugh. When the government has their way, everything under 30mpg will be banned and we’ll all be driving these Maytag cars.

  5. Luke H

    Makes sense, is it perfect for every application? Of course not. But, given the number of plain white, no option rangers, tacomas, etc that were sold I\’d say there is a market. For most trades it\’s much more practical than the guys I see running around with lifted diesels with a tailgate that opens to shoulder height and if your goal is to make money, ya know, \’cause it\’s a work truck, saving on fuel costs isn\’t a bad place to start.

  6. Tanglefoot

    There are a few factors to consider , the first is what do you consider a work truck ? If your work truck’s purpose is to run around a metropolitan area with a set of roof racks I’m sure it would be fine , but if your work truck is on a farm or mine site , this truck is simply not enough truck . The other considerations are the range , maintenance costs , and support infrastructure .
    In my humble opinion a work truck is a one ton or larger with a Diesel engine 4wd , manual locking hubs , solid front axle and a manual transmission . I also really like the Ford crew chief and up fitter package that has built in switches for accessories and is GPS ready .

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