Tesla isn’t the only company demonstrating pent-up demand for EVs. Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) says it has received $300 million worth of pre-orders for its W-15 plug-in hybrid pickup truck.
CEO Stephen Burns told Autoblog that soliciting advance orders was part of the company’s strategy. “We couldn’t build it and hope [customers] came,” he said. “We wanted to make sure there was an audience of customers.” However, even he was surprised at the level of interest: 4,560 letter-of-intent pre-orders came in following the pickup’s reveal event in May.
The W-15 features dual electric motors providing a total of 460 hp, a payload of 2,200 pounds and a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
Workhorse expects to deliver its first trucks by late 2018, at an estimated price of $52,500 each. After the company satisfies its initial fleet orders, Burns said it will turn its attention to individual customers, who could hope to get a W-15 late in 2019.
Workhorse may not be alone by the time it gets to market. Canadian company Havelaar has developed the Bison E-Pickup, and Bollinger Motors is working on a sport utility truck – and of course, Tesla has been talking about a pickup truck for some time.
Meanwhile, Workhorse has begun testing its new N-Gen electric van, which features a lightweight composite body an expected range of 100 miles. Options include a gas range extender and an integrated HorseFly Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Package Delivery System.
“The new N-Gen platform represents a new day for last-mile delivery,” said Burns. “With agreements now in place to test and operate N-Gen vehicles in several cities across the United States, Workhorse continues to be on the front edge of transformative innovation in the commercial transportation sector.”
Steve Burns will participate in a panel discussion on the electric truck industry at the Goldman Sachs Industrials Conference on November 14 in Boston.