Judges chose winners for The Work Truck Show 2018 Innovation Awards in an unprecedented three categories at this year’s event. The Most Innovative Vehicle award went to Workhorse for its W-15 electric pickup truck. The Most Innovative Safety Product award was presented to J.W. Speaker Corporation for the Model 8910 Evolution 2 LED headlight, and the Most Innovative Truck Equipment honor went to CARR for its Factory Step.
Innovation Awards honor the product or products displayed at the Show deemed “most innovative” by a panel of trade media editors and truck fleet managers. This year’s three award recipients were selected from a field of 175 eligible products entered through The Work Truck Show 2018 New Product Spotlight or New Product Media Guide programs.
In their deliberations, the judges recognized Workhorse’s aggressive move into electric work trucks, taking a chance on a market before it’s established—but a market, based on many discussions around the show this year, that has become a near certainty. And sooner rather than later.
“Five years from now, we probably won’t even notice the electric work trucks on the show floor—they’ll be expected, not the exceptions,” one judge said. “Workhorse deserves credit, and I’m guessing they’ll reap a substantial reward for staking a place on the leading edge of this technology.”
The Workhorse W-15 is the first plug-in, battery-electric, range-extended pickup available from an American OEM. Based on 12 years of service, it is designed to save 55 percent in total cost of ownership and deliver a 90-percent reduction in emissions versus a gasoline-powered pickup. An integrated Panasonic Li-Ion battery pack delivers up to 80 MPGe all-electric miles, and an on-board two-cycle BMW gasoline engine powers the batteries to extend the range to 300 miles (comparable to the range of a competitively priced gasoline-powered truck). The all-wheel-drive electric vehicle offers a payload of 2,200 pounds and delivers 5,000 pounds of towing capability, with the additional benefit of easily powering plug-in or rechargeable electric tools on the jobsite. Available in 2019, the company says it has received more than 6,000 fleet pre-orders for the mid-range pickup.
The J.W. Speaker Model 8910 Evolution 2 headlight is an LED headlight with a built-in, integrated lens heater to melt snow and ice. It uses SmartHeat technology to sense temperature change and automatically turn the heater on and off. The headlight is equipped with Dual Burn technology that combines high- and low-beam functions to legally provide extra high-beam punch, along with maximum “ditch-to-ditch” foreground illumination. Designed to comply with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed 5-star rating for safety lighting systems, the Model 8910 Evolution 2 headlight is rugged enough to protect against water infiltration from steam cleaning or high-pressure washing.
CARR’s new Factory Step offers a safer, more efficient and ergonomic entry into and exit from the Ford Transit full-size van. The judges liked this product in part because the van segment of the commercial vehicle industry is growing rapidly, so fleets are looking for more products in this area. The Factory Step offers an exclusive 20-inch-wide perforated step area for solid footing and has a rated weight capacity of 500 pounds. The easily installed heavy-gauge steel Factory Step is powder-coated for superior protection and long life.