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N-GEN set for San Fran roll out

N-GEN van. Workhorse Group.

Workhorse Group’s all-electric N-GEN delivery van is to start work for its first clients in San Francisco in April

Electric utility-vehicle maker Workhorse Group is to deploy a fleet of its all-electric N-GEN cargo vans in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Beginning in April, it will be the first such fleet in the US, says the Cincinnati-based company.

Ryder System – with whom Workhorse struck a maintenance and distribution deal for its W-15 hybrid – will maintain the fleet. Ryder is also responsible for leasing the vans to the San Franciscan delivery firm taking on the first models.

The N-GEN features fast-charging capabilities and has 100 miles of all-electric range. An optional gasoline range extender will add an additional 75 miles. In early on-road testing, the N-Gen has demonstrated a 60-65 MPGe efficiency.

The vans have ultra-low floors and a high roof, maximising cargo space in a small footprint. Workhorse also says that the design reduces physical stress on workers’ knees and back.

They are all-wheel drive, and will have optional collision avoidance, automatic braking, lane centring warning and optional patented HorseFly unmanned package delivery drone. The latter is an 8-rotor copter drone capable of carrying packages of up to 10 lbs (4.5 kg). Using Workhorse’s delivery software the drone can be used to drop packages and return to the vehicle while the driver remains in the van.

Last month, UPS also announced it would lease 50 larger Class 5 vans based on a bespoke design, with 1,000-cubic-foot bays and as much as 5,000 lbs (2,260 kg) of cargo capacity. After real-world test deployments, UPS and Workhorse said they will then fine-tune the design in time to deploy a larger fleet in 2019 and beyond.

With a tranche of high-profile clients now on board, and several intriguing EV designs on the road, Workhorse is one of the most interesting vehicle manufacturers working in the US – and as more models are put into service, interest in the Ohio firm can only grow as more logistics companies and fleet operators look to embrace electrification.

 

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