Workhorse W-15 Orders Now Open To The Public

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Would you be interested in a plug-in hybrid pickup truck that can go 390 miles, 80 of them on battery power alone? One with a load capacity of 2,200 pounds, a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, and a 0–60 mph time of 5.5 seconds? Now add in a composite body riding on a stainless steel frame and the ability to power tools and appliances in remote locations.

Workhorse W-15 pickup truck

Those are the specs for the Workhorse W-15, the American made pickup truck that will go into production this year. The company has already booked 5,300 reservations for the W-15, mostly from utility companies and other fleet operators. At the CES 2018 show, Workhorse CEO Steve Burns told the press that his company is now accepting orders from individuals for delivery in 2019. All that’s required is a refundable deposit of $1,000.

Last year, Burns was unsure whether sales to individuals were part of the plan for his fledgling company, but he has received so many inquiries from people who want to buy one that he has reassessed the situation and decided to expand his marketing to the private sector. Base price for the W-15 is $52,500, but the federal $7,500 tax credit will make the effective cost $45,000 for most customers. State and local incentives may bring that cost down even further.

Workhorse N-GEN

The W-15 is on display at CES 2018 along with its delivery van sibling, the N-Gen delivery van, and the company’s SureFly electric drone. Workhorse is also hard at work on its HorseFly autonomous delivery drone designed for “last mile” use for delivery companies like UPS and FedEx. Head honcho Steve Burns is almost as good at coming up with entertaining names for his products as Elon Musk.

The idea of a plug-in hybrid pickup truck may seem like a “neither fish nor fowl” approach as the world awaits the all-electric pickup truck from Tesla, but that is still several years from production. First Tesla needs to get Model 3 production running smoothly, then it will focus on its sibling, the Model Y electric SUV/CUV. The Tesla Semi is also looming on the horizon. The W-15 was designed specifically for commercial customers who need a tough truck that can go into the boondocks at a moment’s notice, far from the nearest EV charger.

The market for electric and plug-in hybrid trucks is set to explode. Being first can be a big advantage in new market segments. Workhorse has a factory ready to go in Indiana. Adding private customers has to be a big plus for its marketing plans. We have a request in for a test drive of the W-15 and the N-Gen van. Hopefully that will happen early in the new year.

Full disclosure: The author owns shares in Workhorse.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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