An Indiana-based company worth $76 million has emerged as a big threat to Ford (F) and Tesla’s (TSLA) quest to capitalize on the nation’s electric-vehicle fever and decades-long obsession with pickup trucks. While Ford’s hybrid F-150 and Tesla’s own offering are still reportedly several years away from appearing on car lots, Workhorse (WKHS) claims that its plug-in hybrid pickup will be available to buy from late 2018. (See also: UPS Successfully Tests Drone to Deliver Package.)
News that Workhorse, which is mainly known in investment circles for developing a drone-slinging UPS van, has gained a pivotal edge over its larger competitors sent shares in the company soaring 8 percent to $2.15. Tesla’s pickup truck isn’t likely to be unveiled for at least 18 months, while Ford expects to release hybrid versions of its F-150, America’s best-selling vehicle, by 2020. In short, this means that Workhorse’s W-15 will be the first ever electric pickup truck to appear on the market. (See also: Ford Drives Higher Despite F-150 Investigation.)
“For the first time in 108 years, someone has invented a truck that’s cheaper than a gasoline truck over its life,” CEO Steve Burns said to Wired.com. Burns added that the likes of Duke Energy (DUK), Portland General Electric (POR), Southern California Power Authority, Clean Fuels Ohio and the city of Orlando, Florida have all already expressed an interest in the truck.
Workhorse’s Pickup Truck Spec
The W-15’s 60 kilowatt battery pack, 45 kilowatts of which is usable, and 460 horsepower all-wheel-drive system suggests it can hold its own with V6 engine-powered trucks. According to a report from Fox News, Workhorse’s offering can tow up to 5,000 pounds, carry 2,200 pounds on board and go 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.
A four- to five-hour charge gives the W-15 range of 80 miles. Once that distance is surpassed, a gasoline-powered BMW range extender kicks in, bringing the total distance it can cover on a full tank to 390 miles. These features can also be used to power tools and work lights.
Like other electric vehicles on the market, the W-15 doesn’t come cheap, costing $52,500. However, proponents claim that these high price tags come with assurances of lower fueling and maintenance costs than traditional automobiles.