Workhorse unveils its plug-in electric W-15 pickup truck: $52,000 and 60 kWh battery pack

Last month, Workhorse showed the chassis and plug-in hybrid powertrain of its upcoming electric truck and this week, it unveiled the whole thing.

The Loveland, Ohio-based company presented the W-15 for the first time at the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, California, yesterday.

The vehicle they debuted was referred to as a “proof of concept” and while it was a working prototype, it’s not likely to be completely representative of the production version, which is expected next year. got to drive the vehicle and said that it delivered on the promised sports car-like acceleration:

“The truck can blast ahead in near silence, quickly building to freeway speeds as it goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The only sounds are the faint whine of the electric motor and the creaks and clinks of a full-size pickup truck chassis twisting under acceleration. Yet acceleration is not visceral, like that of the Tesla Model S. Nor is it as peppy as the lightweight Chevrolet Bolt’s.”

The company released a few press pictures of the vehicle:

They say it will get up to 80 miles on all-electric mode thanks to a very large 60 kWh battery pack – though they say that they are software-locking 20 kWh in capacity to reduce battery degradation. There are two schools of thoughts on the matter. Some think it’s a waste of capacity and that they should let owners access the energy when needed, and others like not to have to worry about the battery losing capacity against the advertised range after a few years.

Either way, the large battery pack is also useful to power tools on location for constructions workers and other hobbyists – with a 7.2 kW power system that allows owners to plug-in anything.

After 80 miles, the gasoline engine kicks in to act as a range extender to feed the two 230-hp/172-kW electric motors, one at each axle, that powers the vehicle. Combined, Workhorse claims a range of 310 miles for the W-15 and a 28/32 mpg city/highway mileage when running only on gasoline.

As for with a load, Workhorse is going for a towing capability of 5,500 lbs (~2,500 kg), which is comparable to the Tesla Model X’s towing capacity – the current standard for electric towing capacity. They also want the vehicle to handle a payload of up to 2,200 lbs (~1,000 kg).

With the debut of the truck, Workhorse also announced a 10-year partnership with Ryder to sell and service the W-15 at its more than 800 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

They are aiming for a starting price of $52,000 before incentive – meaning that a buyer of the electric pickup could potentially get away with it for a reasonable $40,000 to $45,000 after incentives in certain states and provinces. They are planning to start production by the end of 2018.

While other automakers have announced plans for electric pickups, like Tesla, it looks like Workhorse still has a chance to be first to market if it can stick to its schedule.

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