Package delivery may never be the same
It's been two and a half years since Workhorse Group first presented its delivery-van-with-drone-companion concept. In that time they have not been idle. Besides unveiling the W-15 plug-in hybrid pickup truck — something its CEO Stephen Burns claims they've received $300 million worth of pre-orders for — it has also been chosen as one of four finalists for a new United States Postal Service delivery vehicle, a program worth $6 billion. Did we mention they've developed the drone-like SureFly octocopter capable, they say, of carrying two people for 70 miles? Well, they have.
The HorseFly drone is said to be capable of carrying a 10-lb package.
These other high-profile projects haven't stopped it from pursuing its dreams of a combined ground and air delivery system, though, and today it took the wraps off its new N-Gen electric van with optional HorseFly parcel-carrying drone. The van, with its lightweight composite skin, is expected to return 100 miles of range. If that isn't enough for a customer's needs, an optional gasoline-powered range-extending engine is also available that can pad that by another 75 additional miles.
The N-Gen features all-wheel-drive, and the company says that in early testing, it has "demonstrated a 60-65 MPGe efficiency." Other design concerns center around user ergonomics and urban driveability. The load floor is just 19 inches from the ground, and is accessed through a roll up door in the back, while the roof height is 105 inches, making working in the box a stand-up affair. Its turning radius is said to be a mere 26-feet.
While it hasn't yet, to our knowledge, received FAA approval for airborne deliveries, Workhorse says its drone is compliant with agency regulations. When the HorseFly is, finally, allowed to fly the neighborhood skies, it may carry packages weighing up to 10 lbs to doorsteps as the driver tends to other customers. This should reduce overall delivery times and save on stop-and-go wear-and-tear.
The N-Gen platform will also get see a couple larger box sizes later in 2018 — think 700 and 1,000 cubic feet — as well as different configurations for telecommunications or municipal usage. For more details, kindly direct your attention to the official press release waiting below.
Workhorse Optimizes Last-Mile Delivery with New N-Gen Electric Van Featuring Integrated HorseFly Package Delivery Drone
New platform features electric all-wheel drive, ultra-low floor, optional unmanned package delivery drone, advanced telematics and optional range extender
CINCINNATI, Ohio (November 7, 2017) — Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS), an American technology company focused on providing electric mobility solutions to the commercial transportation sector, today announced it has commenced implementation of an agreement to test and operate its new N-Gen electric van.
“The new N-Gen platform represents a new day for last-mile delivery,” said Stephen Burns, CEO of Workhorse. “With an agreement now in place to test and operate N-Gen vehicles in several cities across the United States, Workhorse continues to be on the front edge of transformative innovation in the commercial transportation sector.”
The electric N-Gen van, with lightweight composite body, will provide an anticipated range of 100 miles on a single charge. An optional gasoline range extender will add an additional 75 miles. In early on-road testing, the N-Gen has demonstrated a 60-65 MPGe efficiency.
The N-Gen’s ultra low 19-inch floor and 105-inch roof height maximize cargo space, reduce knee injuries and enhance driver ease of operation. Standard van options include all-wheel drive, automatic braking and lane centering, a best-in-class 26-foot turning radius and superior handling for maximum versatility. The built-in Workhorse Metron telematics system tracks in real time all van and drone parameters to optimize performance and efficiency. Additional configurations for telecomm service/municipal use, as well as 700-cubic-foot and 1,000-cubic-foot models, are expected in late 2018.
It will also feature an optional integrated HorseFly™ Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Package Delivery System. The carbon-fiber, high-efficiency octocopter drone launches from the roof of a delivery van and delivers a package to its destination within the driver’s line of sight. The patent-pending truck and drone HorseFly system is compliant with all current FAA regulations, and can carry a package weighing up to 10 pounds with a cost of approximately $.03 per mile.
Workhorse and Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) in May announced a partnership that made Ryder — a leader in commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation, and supply chain solutions — the primary distributor and provider of service and support for Workhorse light and medium duty range-extended electric vehicles in North America.
Building on over 1 million miles of real-world experience with fleet customers operating electric medium-duty trucks, N-Gen continues Workhorse’s legacy of innovation in electric transportation. Workhorse’s E-GEN electric, range-extended medium duty truck, is being used today by major package delivery companies, chosen for its low total cost of ownership.
About Workhorse Group Inc.
Workhorse is a technology company focused on providing electric mobility solutions to the commercial transportation sector. As an American original equipment manufacturer, we design and build high performance battery-electric vehicles including trucks and aircraft. We also develop cloud-based, real-time telematics performance monitoring systems that are fully integrated with our vehicles and enable fleet operators to optimize energy and route efficiency. All Workhorse vehicles are designed to make the movement of people and goods more efficient and less harmful to the environment. For additional information visit www.workhorse.com.
Source: Workhorse Group