Pickup trucks are the ultimate utility vehicle.
Need to haul a bed of firewood? No problem. Move your girlfriend's couch? She knows who to call. Negotiate some harrying backcountry terrain? Done, and with aplomb.
If there's a downside, it's that their diesel-guzzling engines announce their arrival from about a mile away. And when you're taking to the woods, that's not ideal.
This, however, is.
Workhorse, the startup that recently delivered a fleet of 125 hybrid delivery trucks to UPS, is back in the news with their announcement of the first all-electric PHEV pickup truck. Slated for a 2018 release, the company has locked its gaze on being the first to bring a hybrid plug-in truck to the market.
“We believe this will be the first plug-in range-extended electric pickup truck built from the ground up by an OEM in America. It’s not a conversion vehicle. We feel the extended range capability from the combination of Panasonic batteries and an on-board generator, will deliver the performance that fleet managers expect from a work truck,” said Steve Burns, Workhorse CEO.
The ride will sustain itself via a battery pack powered by 8650 Panasonic li-ion battery cells with a 310-mile hybrid range. It'll also equip a gas-powered extender should longer travel require it. The PHEV will seat up to five people and have room for storage both in the bed, of course, and the front truck — or “frunk,” as they say.
Workhorse states to have received interest from the City of Orlando and Duke Energy for shipments, but has yet to announce strategy for direct-to-consumer production.
We can only hope.
As someone who used to regularly drive trucks in the middle of big sky country past signs that read “NEXT GAS STATION 100 MILES,” I can attest that a hybrid option would be a welcome step forward.