Workhorse Unveils 80 Mile Plug-In Hybrid W-15 Truck

NOV 11 2016 BY MARK KANE 22

Workhorse Group has announced the development of a plug-in hybrid truck, the Workhorse W-15.

The Cincinnati-based company intends to begin fleet sales in 2018 for less than $50,000, and that is before the $7,500 federal tax credit is factored in.

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Articles about the project encourage us that there will be market for light-duty trucks, as for example North Carolina-based Duke Energy intends to purchase at least 500 by 2019.

The Workhorse W-15 will have up to 80 miles all-electric range (and an additional 310 miles of hybrid/petrol range).

Battery cells for the W-15 will be supplied by Panasonic (classic 18650 cells) and then assembled into packs in Cincinnati, while the truck production itself will take place at Workhorse factory in Union City, Ind.

The truck will be designed from the ground-up by Workhorse, and equipped with an all-wheel drive powertrain with two electric motors (one per axle), internal combustion generator, standard J1772 charging inlet and low and high voltage outlets.

Towing capability and the same ground clearance as a standard pickup were mentioned to ensure no compromises.

We have to say the truck market is clearly the one untouched segment of the transport industry that we are most excited about seeing electrified.  Until this point, major OEMs seem to be hesitent to add a plug to a truck, for fear of hurting the margins of thier “cash cow”; perhaps this project will be the one to spur the big boys into action.

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15

Workhorse W-15


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22 Comments on "Workhorse Unveils 80 Mile Plug-In Hybrid W-15 Truck"

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Someone tell Bob Lutz to stop carping about Tesla and put more effort into making Via Motors successful or these guys will eat his lunch.

Game Changer

Is it a plugin serial / series hybrid? The cutaway image shows two electric motors with their gearboxes, so it would seem that it is.

What is the length of the truck bed?

Whatever it is, I seriously doubt it ever sees the light of day.

If they can pull off 32 city mpg, and deliver this on the consumer market, then Via Motors is going to have to bring something else to the masses.

Is Via shipping anything yet?

If this Truck Really has a 80 or a 60 mile EV only range and a gas back up motor. Then it could take over the place of my 13 mile a gallon truck. If it could carry the same amount of wight.

If this company could get that man who added the Chadmo chargers to the Toyota RV4. If they could get him to add a Chadmo charger to this truck it would wreak the F150 and Dodge Truck sales.

Yes, I want there to be a PHEV pick-up. But this is silly. GM should just put the Voltec drivetrain into a pick-up.

If this thing were remotely successful (which I doubt due to its price and lack of a trusted brand name), it would immediately be wiped out by Ford & GM producing their own PHEV pick-ups that will be from well known companies and cost much less.

But perhaps some fools like these guys have to throw away their money in order to force Ford & GM to start building PHEV picks-ups? (Again, my conspiracy theory of establishment automakers shying away from making more PHEVs because those vehicles will take away from their much larger ICE vehicle profit margins.)

Toyota Did not want to make Plug-in Hybrids, either, but University Professors, and Independent tinkerers, show that the Prius could be a good PHEV, and even Big GM Boats were make into 35+ Mph PHEV’s by the Professor!

HyMotion Inc., made one of the Best Prius PHEV Systems, that was then bought out by the Battery Maker they selected to use in their packs – A123 Systems! After That – Toyota started to look into that possibility!

The Team that Created HyMotion – were (when in High School Still) the Students that Built my First EV – now known as ‘Electricfly’ – an EV Conversion of a Pontiac Firefly (Geo Metro), that I bought (4th hand as an EV) in 2006!

They did another EV Conversion the year after mine, still in High School, and went on to get Engineering Degrees, before Creating HyMotion, but still – it shows what just a few good players can do to show the ‘incumbents’ that they are wrong!

This EV+PHEV Truck – will be a good competitor to VIA Motors, and an interesting comparison to Tesla’s Pickup – when it comes!

Well, it took Tesla Toyota and Nissan to get the Big 3 off their hind ends to offer PHEVs and EVs in cars. So it goes to follow that it will take some outsider’s success to get them to do the same with trucks. Maybe Workhorse will pull it off, maybe not. But until someone succeeds, the Big 3 will continue to do nothing IMHO.

The brand name is well known in trucking and motorhome circles.

Really? I did not know that! Well, I wish them luck!

Double the range and 40% less cost than the Via VTRUX. Via still isn’t sold to consumers yet.

I’m surprised the hood needs to be so high. Looking at the x-ray diagrams, it looks like the hood could be much lower and shaped better for aerodynamics. Also, most here complain about fake grills, but without one this looks really odd to me.

I’m curious what they are using as the gas engine? The pictures conveniently leave that out, yet they also leave little room for an ICE. Might it be a Wrightspeed type turbine?

Found the answer. From Hybridcars:
“When the battery pack is depleted, a small two-cylinder gasoline engine — the same that comes on BMW i3 passenger cars — acts as a generator to add a hybrid driving range of an estimated 310 miles.”

So…. it will limp along even slower than i3 with a depleted battery?

Not if they allow the REx to start at say 50% depletion … the i3 REx doesn’t start until the battery is fully depleted.

That just prolongs the inevitable, if the alternator produces 5 kW but the truck takes 25 kW, you see the problem.

Forget highway towing with a 25 kW sustainer engine. This looks to be targeted at local fleets, though, not consumers, so it’s not as big of a deal.

Towing and climbing are out of the picture. Imagine hauling a ton with 30 HP, performance will be less than stunning.

Yea! 80 mile AER. This company really understands the issue. Best of luck to them.

As a fleet vendor, these guys should pretty much custom-build batches for each customer. So why didn’t they announce that the presence/absence of the extender motor, and the number of motors, were negotiable?