Following the formal launch of the W56 step van at the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana, earlier this year, the company introduced the vehicle to West Coast audiences at ACT Expo last week. On display were a production-intent vehicle and a stripped chassis. Workhorse also participated in the public ride and drive event.

Workhorse plans to come out with three versions of this truck: the 158, 178, 208, strip chassis, cab chassis, and a full step van. Workhorse CEO Rick Dauch said the delivery van is designed to meet the challenging demands of the commercial vehicle industry, support benchmark payload capacity of up to approximately 10,000 pounds with 1,000+ cubic feet of cargo space, and a range of up to 150 miles.

“This vehicle incorporates the extensive on-road learnings of our legacy vehicles and improves upon those models with a new custom-designed chassis,” said Dauch. “The early feedback on the W56 has been encouraging as we’re seeing real interest start to build ahead of official production start in the third quarter of this year.”

Dauch said Workhorse plans to build about 200 trucks this year after production commences in the third quarter. Build rates are slated to hit 2,000 in 2024, and up to 5,000 the year after. Dealers are now taking pre-orders for W56 production slots in Q4 2023/Q1 2024 scheduling before production begins in Q3 2023.

“We have begun installing the manufacturing equipment at the Union City, Indiana plant,” he said. “The dyno is going in as we speak. The assembly lines are going in in July, and the paint line goes in August or September. We’ll be ready to begin production.”

About the W56 Step Van

Available in a number of work truck configurations tailored to meet various business applications, the W56 is Workhorse’s new Class 5/6 model providing a blend of reliability, quality, and serviceability.

The W56 also offers a 1,000+ cubic-foot cargo box with lowered step-in and wide cabin door for easier entry and exit. Built with the delivery driver in mind, the cabin has been ergonomically designed while still providing safety and comfort during even the longest shifts.

Leveraging existing Workhorse designs, including 9 million plus miles of service time on the road, the W56 offers the first fully designed, purpose-built chassis platform built from the ground up out of Workhorse’s Union City factory.

  • Vehicle Class: Class 5 & 6
  • Interior Volume: 1,000+ cubic ft.
  • Payload (Class 6): ~10,000 lbs.
  • GVWR (Class 6): 23,000 lbs.
  • Est. Range: Up to 150 miles
  • Battery Capacity: 210 kWh
  • Certification Targeted: FMVSS, ZEP, ZEV
  • Charging: Level 2 at 20kW / ~12 hrs.  Level 3 at 100kW / 3-4 hrs.
  • Mileage / Efficiency: 0.66-0.77 kWh/mi / 1.3-1.5 kWh/mi (26.4-30.8 MPGe)

More information about the W56 can be found at

About the author
Jim Park

Jim Park

Equipment Editor

A truck driver and owner-operator for 20 years before becoming a trucking journalist, Jim Park maintains his commercial driver’s license and brings a real-world perspective to Test Drives, as well as to features about equipment spec’ing and trends, maintenance and drivers. His On the Spot videos bring a new dimension to his trucking reporting. And he's the primary host of the HDT Talks Trucking videocast/podcast.

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