A new electric pickup is coming from
The advent of the Workhorse W-15 shows that while most people haven't exactly embraced electric-powered vehicles — they make up less than 1% of overall vehicle sales — there remains a potentially strong market among service companies that operate fleets of pickups.
Workhorse Group, a Loveland, Ohio, company that has been making medium-duty electric vans, says that with a range of 80 miles per charge, the W-15 will meet the needs of a wide range of companies, from electric utilities to plumbing contractors. And, in a likely key difference from the Tesla pickup on the horizon, the W-15 will have a backup, 3-cylinder gas motor to let it drive longer distances in a pinch.
The W-15 will be built in Union City, Ind., with a
"We sell it on
But it is likely to run headlong into competition from Tesla, which plans not only pickup
Detroit's Big 3, which dominate the pickup truck market, have offered hybrid pickups in the
Companies operating fleets have an advantage over individual truck owners when it comes to electric vehicles because they generally know the maximum number of miles that workers travel in a day, so they can ensure that any electric vehicles they buy have adequate range. Also, the electrics can be centrally charged overnight.
Workhorse Group said in March that it had received 2,150 "letters of intent" to buy the W-15 truck from major utilities and energy producers like Duke Energy, Portland General Electric, the Southern California Public Power Authority, Clean Fuels Ohio. It says it also has one from the city of Orlando, Fla.
On Tuesday, Workhorse said it was entering into a 10-year "strategic partnership" with corporate vehicle provider Ryder System to become the distributor and service source for the truck.
The trucks are likely to become part of Ryder's rental fleet, says Scott Perry, chief
"I think electric
Workhorse Group reported it lost $19.5 million last year and had sales of $6.4 million. On Tuesday, its stock closed at $2.15, up 7.% on the NASDAQ.
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