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?