The Workhorse W-15, a plug-in pick-up truck with 80 miles of electric range, was recently unveiled from the Advanced Clean Transportation Expo in Long Beach, along with first test drives; although it was still more like a demonstration of a pre-production prototype.

The company has apparently increased its Letters of Intent from fleets from 2,150 units two months ago to around 4,650 today, and is now hoping to launch production in Q4 2018, starting from $52,500.

But before then, Workhorse needs to complete development (which we also understand to include raising more capital) and build about 30 prototypes for crash tests and evaluations.

According to Trucks.com, the W-15 pickup truck offers both performances and utility.

"During the short drive, the electric pickup delivered on its promise of impressive power and the utility of a true work truck."

"Trucks.com took the first working version of the W-15 for a short test drive in downtown Long Beach Monday. The truck is more than the static concept vehicle manufacturers display at auto shows but not quite a full prototype."

For example, the carbon fiber body is to be replaced in production model by a composite plastic body panels with some carbon components.

Inside the Workhorse W-15

Inside the Workhorse W-15

Here few insights about driving and interior, along with commentary from Workhorse Chief Executive, Stephen Burns:

"It delivers power with smooth consistency, better suited for the reliability needed under towing and hauling. Workhorse can potentially tailor the power delivery based on customer preference, Burns said. Independent coil suspension on all four wheels provides a smoother ride than the leaf springs employed in most full-size pickups."

"Braking is one area in which the W-15 is expected to change before it reaches production. During the test drive, the brake pedal needed significant pressure to slow the truck.

Unlike some electric vehicles, the W-15 does not immediately decelerate under coasting in order to regenerate power for the electric batteries. Burns said Workhorse could make the brakes more aggressive in the future."

External auxiliary output on the Workhorse W-15

External auxiliary output on the Workhorse W-15

The review found that the fit and finish on the early prototype was a strong point, as well as the interior refinements.

As for the ergonomics of the interior, there was lots of storage space in the cab, complete with a large center storage unit that opens up into small compartments for all of ones electronic gizmos and knick knacks.

The information display gives all the well, info that one could want in both a truck and a plug-in vehicle:  range, battery life remaining, as well as a clear navigation and HVAC display system.  CEO also mentioned that the screen is operable with work gloves.

Separately Workhorse selected Ryder System as strategic service partner.

"Ryder will be the exclusive maintenance provider for Workhorse’s entire light- and medium-duty range-extended electric vehicle fleet in North America and will provide a combination of warranty and maintenance services as part of Ryder’s SelectCare fleet maintenance portfolio."

Workhorse W-15 spec:

  • 80 miles of all-electric range on 60 kWh battery (Panasonic)/67% usable, 75 MPGe fuel efficiency in all-electric operation and total 310 miles of range
  • three-cylinder “range extender” gasoline engine
  • 460 system horsepower (343 kW), two 230-hp/172-kW electric motors, AWD
  • 0-60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds
  • towing capability of 5,500 lbs, payload of  2,200 lbs
  • collision-avoidance features, automatic braking, lane-departure warning
  • composite body with carbon fiber
  • double cab
  • standard bed configuration
  • 7.2 kW power export that allows tools to be plugged directly into the battery power source without the truck running

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

source: trucks.com