Take a Good Look at the Workhorse W-15 Electric Pickup Truck

Well, technically, it’s a hybrid electric truck with a range-extending gasoline engine. But it’s closer to an EV with a bed than anyone else has made.

byCaleb Jacobs|
Electric Vehicles photo

Talk of electric trucks has been abuzz across the automotive world recently, with many thinking about how viable an EV pickup or semi could be. Tesla has teased its planned attempt at a truck over the last few weeks, but ultimately, it's just a concept for now. Some have been retrofitting existing pickups with electric motors for sometime, but few have built their own from scratch. 

Enter the Workhorse W-15. This four-wheel-drive plug-in pickup has been built from the ground up by manufacturer Workhorse, which has taken cues from industry veterans and built its pickup accordingly. Workhorse has built its own battery packs with Panasonic 18650 lithium-ion cells, providing a solid amount of power for the electric-drive only machine. These batteries are then mounted underneath the vehicle to save space and provide more cargo and payload capacity, making it even more ideal for work applications. A three-cylinder engine sourced from BMW acts as a generator for these electric motors, though it does not drive the wheels directly.

Via Motors

The battery packs used in the W-15 are rated at 60 kilowatt-hours, though they've been limited to 40 kWh to improve longevity. Electric-only range is rated at 80 miles, allowing the pickup to travel back and forth from one job site to another with no worries of range anxiety. Should the Workhourse W-15 need to go farther, the gas motor kicks in and provides the pickup with 310 miles of range. Fuel economy ratings are estimated at 28 city / 32 highway miles per gallon, ranking the EV at the top of the light duty pickup segment.

Via Motors

Ultimately, the W-15's purpose is to do work efficiently. It has a payload limit of 2,200 pounds and can haul a respectable 5,000 lbs, helping to make its case as a usable fleet vehicle. Single cab and extended cab configurations are available at launch, with a 6-foot-6-inch bed standard.

The manufacturer has built the W-15 to perform light work for fleet operations, and frankly, it seems ideal for many such tasks. It may not have the capacities of a regular gasoline-powered pickup, but it will definitely lighten the load for some workers who are looking to cut fuel costs and their carbon footprint.