However, they're not saying who they're partnering with yet
WorkSport announced today that the company has entered into an agreement for its TerraVis solar tonneau cover with a US-based electric pickup truck manufacturer. The deal is reportedly worth $70 million dollars (US) and is likely to expand over time.
We just featured the TerraVis system in an article this week and mentioned that the company was in negotiations with an electric truck manufacturer. However, we didn't know the details of the negotiations, and that's become a little clearer now.
While we still don't know which US-based electric pickup truck manufacturer is in play, we know the negotiations are based around WorkSport providing its TerraVis systems to the OEM so it can be offered as a factory-installed option.
The TerraVis solar Tonneau cover system consists of four monocrystalline foldable solar panels that have an output of approximately 1,000 watts, or 1kW. In an interview last week, WorkSport CEO Steven Rossi explained to me that the system should be able to add 12 to 15 miles (20 to 24 km) of range to an electric pickup truck per day in optimal conditions. That's by figuring that an electric pickup truck will have an efficiency rating of around 2 to 2.5 miles per kWh (31 to 25 kWh per 100 km).
WorkSport won't say which company they are in negotiations with, so let's guess:
Rossi explained to be that the goal is for the TerraVis system to cost "less than 5% of the overall cost of the truck" and that TerraVis will more than pay for itself over the useful life of the vehicle. That means if the electric truck cost is $80,000, the TerraVis option would cost less than $4,000, and that's not bad in our opinion. Heck, you can pay upwards of $2,000 for a high-end tonneau cover itself.
Gallery: TerraVis Solar Cargo Cover
Rossi told me the go-to-market strategy all along was to partner with an electric pickup truck manufacturer, but to eventually offer the TerraVis system as an aftermarket option for non-electric pickup trucks. He said WorkSport will initially focus on TerraVis systems for the big three; Ford, GM, and Dodge trucks, but then expand to offer the system for other models.
You can use the heck out of the top of the cover. We're talking plywood, drywall, canoes, kayaks & bikes. Pile them on and the cover is fine. - Steven Rossi, CEO WorkSport Ltd
Canadian-based WorkSport is already an established market leader in the Tonneau cover industry, so they know how to make durable covers for work trucks, but can the TerraVis hold up in those applications? Rossi promised it will, and said the system is strong enough to support a person walking on it.
When used on a non-electric pickup truck, instead of trickle-charging the traction battery pack, the panels feed a modular battery system mounted inside on the wall of the bed. The batteries are approximately 2 kWh each and the system can have up to 4 battery packs, plus the 1 kWh "brain unit" that powers the portable charging pack. The portable charging pack is removable and can be used on job sites or other uses like camping or during power outages and natural disasters.