Workhorse electric delivery vans are coming to San Francisco
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Workhorse electric delivery vans are coming to San Francisco

March 4, 2020


Not all electric vehicles have to be passenger
cars. Workhorse has developed a line of electric
delivery vans, and now it’s ready to put a fleet of them into service. Beginning in April, the company will deploy
its N-Gen cargo vans in the San Francisco Bay Area in a pilot program testing their
capabilities on real-world delivery routes. Workhorse will roll out the vans in partnership
with Ryder, which will handle warranty and maintenance services. Ryder is probably best known as a truck-rental
company, but it also performs maintenance as a contractor for other companies’ fleets. In addition to Workhorse, Ryder has partnered
with Chinese-backed electric-van startup Chanje. The all-wheel drive N-Gen vans Workhorse will
deploy in San Francisco have a range of 100 miles in standard, all-electric configuration,
according to the company. Workhorse also plans to offer an optional
gasoline range extender that adds another 75 miles of claimed range, with an expected
energy efficiency of 65 MPGe. The N-Gen’s bodywork is composite, to save
weight, and Workhorse claims it has a lower floor height than other vans, making ingress
and egress easier for the driver. Customers purchasing N-Gen vans will be able
to specify driver-assist systems like autonomous emergency braking and lane-centering assist,
as well as Workhorse’s HorseFly drone, which can transport a small package over the last
leg of a delivery. In addition to the N-Gen, Workhorse markets
larger electric vans, which have already found homes with some fleet customers. The company is now working with UPS to design
a van specifically for the logistics giant. UPS will initially get 50 vans, which will
be mixed into its fleets in Atlanta, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Workhorse and UPS will use data from that
initial batch of vans to tweak the design, which will then be put into larger-scale production. While automakers focus on building the next
Tesla Model S, Workhorse aims for less obvious types of electric vehicles. Alongside its vans, the company is developing
a plug-in hybrid pickup truck called the W-15, and it also created a personal helicopter
called the SureFly that looks like a drone on steroids. The SureFly has been spun off into a separate
company, though.

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