Fuel Smarts

BMW's Hybrid Tech to Power Workhorse Delivery Trucks

October 13, 2016

By Paul Clinton

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Photo of E-Gen step van courtesy of Workhorse Group.
Photo of E-Gen step van courtesy of Workhorse Group.

BMW has signed a multiple-year supply agreement to integrate its i3 range extender (REx) units into the Workhorse step van to extend the range of the Class 3-5 delivery vehicles.

Parcel and other delivery companies typically use Workhorse E-Gen step vans on routes of 60 miles or less that make up the "last mile" of delivery, according to the Workhorse Group.

Under the agreement, Workhorse will use BMW's 647-cc two-cylinder gasoline engine, lithium-ion battery pack, and the electronics that underpins the system used in BMW's i3 hatchback. The vehicles will operate on electric power for the first 60 miles, then engage the gasoline engine to provide about 120 miles of total range for the delivery truck, said Steve Burns, Workhorse founder and CEO.

"We cater to fleets with last-mile delivery, so 120 miles covers almost any route they do," Burns said. "Our goal is to make it a complete replacement that can do anything a gasoline truck can do."

A Workhorse E-Gen truck can deliver approximately 30 miles of equivalent mpg to a gasoline model when operating in electric mode and about 5.5 mpg when operating in gasoline mode, Burns said. Workhorse offers the trucks with GVWs from 12,500 to 19,500 pounds.

“The REx solution adds tremendous benefits to our E-Gen vehicle and to our customers. Signing this supply agreement with BMW further strengthens our commitment to our customers’ fuel efficiencies, maintenance savings, and sustainability initiatives while continuing to eliminate range-anxiety often found with battery-electric vehicles,” Burns said.

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