Plug-in hybrids are usually in the form of sedans and hatchbacks as their lightweight and compact construction allows for less strain on the battery and more miles on the road, but Indiana-based automaker Workhorse is set to shock the status quo with an electric pickup truck.
Previously known for developing the drone-carrying hybrid UPS van, Workhorse is now offering the W-15 hybrid pickup, for pre-order on its website. The W-15 shares the same combination electric motor/gasoline system found in a typical hybrid electric vehicle (EV), but it features a pair of heavy-duty motors and a three-cylinder BMW gasoline engine. This gives it an estimated power output of 460hp, a 2,200-pound payload capacity, and a 5,000-pound towing rating, making it competitive with other similarly sized pickups in the market. It also packs a 60kwH battery for a maximum all-electric range of 80 miles and a range extender that lets it run at 32 mpg on the highway and 28 in the city. Other features include an all-wheel drive, independent rear suspension, carbon-fiber composite body, and the ability to power tools directly from the battery even the engine switched off.
Workhorse is currently offering the W-15 as a commercial fleet vehicle, although the company has expressed interest in making a consumer version of the pickup. The truck’s hefty price tag – $52,500 without incentives or tax credits – also puts it out of range for budget-conscious buyers. But despite its novelty, electric hybrid trucks like the W-15 are the wave of the future. Ford has announced in January that a hybrid F-150 is coming by 2020, and GM has made its own experimental versions of the Silverado and Sierra. Elon Musk also tweeted in April that Tesla will unveil a semi-truck in September this year, followed by a pickup in the next two years.
More of the Workhorse W-15 in this video: