Two vehicles developed by Workhorse that piggyback on the NGDV project are the W-15 electric pickup truck and, most recently, the N-Gen electric cargo van. The W-15, which features a CFRP body, has a gross vehicle weight rating of 7,200 pounds and an 80-mile all-electric range. During development, Workhorse pre-sold the vehicle to 18 different fleets that bought 5,500 trucks, equating to approximately $300 million in sales, according to Burns. Customers ranged from municipalities to energy companies.
Although the W-15 is designed for commercial use, Burns says it’s drawn interest from consumers, too. “It’s a good-looking, electric range-extending, carbon fiber pickup truck. It gets the equivalent of 75 mpg, and it’s very quick and strong,” he says. “Once we get through our first wave of fleet deliveries – and we’re at the tail end of that – consumers can get their place in line.”
The N-Gen is a cargo van similar to the Ford Transit. “The only difference is that the Transit is the same product used by plumbers or florists or a last-mile delivery person,” says Burns. “The N-Gen is a for-purpose, last-mile delivery vehicle.”
Last-mile logistics refers to the movement of goods from the transportation hub to the final delivery destination. Transportation companies are battling to dominate the market, which is skyrocketing thanks to e-commerce. A key priority is reducing costs associated with last-mile delivery, which can account for up to 28 percent of a product’s total transportation cost, according to a report from Supply Chain Dive, a manufacturing news curator.
“Usually, vertical markets aren’t big enough to build a for-purpose truck,” says Burns. “But with last-mile delivery and e-commerce ballooning, we thought it warranted a dedicated vehicle.” The N-Gen, which has a CFRP body and weighs just under 5,500 pounds, has an anticipated range of 100 miles on a single charge. It can carry a one-ton load in its 450-cubic foot cargo bay. Comparable gas and diesel vans typically weigh thousands of pounds more, decreasing their fuel efficiency and carrying capacity.
In addition, the N-Gen was designed with a low 19-inch floor and a 105-inch roof height to maximize cargo space and make it easy for the driver to get packages in and out of the van. The N-Gen also is available with Workhorse’s optional integrated HorseFly™ unmanned aerial vehicle package delivery system. The CFRP drone launches from the roof of the van and delivers packages to their destinations within the driver’s line of sight.