Fuel Smarts

Workhorse Touts Efficiency of Electric Delivery Trucks

February 14, 2017

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Photo: Workhorse
Photo: Workhorse

Workhorse Group has announced that its medium-duty electric trucks are up to six times more efficient than comparable gasoline- or diesel-powered models.

Using metrics from the company's Metron telematics system to track the first 250,000 miles driven by the vehicles, Workhorse calculated that its electric delivery truck models are achieving more than 30 miles per gallon equivalent during normal use.

Mile-per-gallon equivalent is a measure of energy consumption and not fuel costs. It is calculated using the equivalent energy in a gallon of gasoline or diesel fuel converted into kilowatt-hours and comparing that to an electric motor producing the same amount of energy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has established the standards for "MPGe" by pegging the energy content of a gallon of gasoline at around 34 kilowatt-hours. For diesel fuel, the energy content of a gallon is closer to 38 kilowatt-hours.

For Workhorse’s comparison, the company said that a comparable delivery truck typically achieves 5-8 miles per gallon, or 5-8 miles per 34 kilowatt-hours of energy while its electric delivery vehicles can travel more than 30 miles on that same amount of energy.

"By achieving 30 MPGe with over 125 medium-duty trucks on the road, Workhorse is setting a new standard with our electric delivery vehicles," said Steve Burns, Workhorse CEO. "Medium-duty local delivery trucks are the backbone of the last-mile delivery system and a sixfold fuel economy increase as well as reduced maintenance and zero or near zero emissions are a major change to the conventional delivery system."

It is important to note that while MPGe is a good metric for determining vehicle efficiency, it does not translate directly to vehicle costs because a gallon of gasoline does not necessarily cost the same as 34 kilowatt-hours of electrical charge.

Workhorse’s Metron telematics system allows fleet managers to monitor and manage the performance of fleet vehicles through a wireless cellular network connection. It logs signals from vehicle components and uploads them with GPS data to the cloud to be viewed online. The system monitors metrics like MPGe as well as battery cell voltage, state-of-charge, total miles and total efficiency.

"Fleets today are watching the efficiency of their vehicles very closely," said Burns. "Metron telematics allows fleet managers to monitor and manage all Workhorse electric vehicles in their fleet, with near real-time insight giving these managers important performance information about each vehicle."

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