Workhorse to Retire Troubled Flagship Electric Delivery Van

The Workhorse C-1000 delivery van
Workhorse Group will retire the C-1000 delivery van. (Workhorse Group)

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Workhorse Group Inc. plans to kill its flagship electric delivery van after a recall last year, turning instead to two new models after what its CEO called a “costly misstep.”

The startup will retire the C-1000 van after building another 50 to 75 from available inventory this year, Workhorse said March 1 in a statement that detailed quarterly earnings.

The decision was driven by the model’s limited payload capacity and materials costs, which Workhorse said made it economically unviable. The company will repair previously produced vans and continue to provide parts and service for those customers.

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Workhorse is developing two new van models that will enter production in 2023 and 2024: the medium-duty W56 and the lighter W34. In the meantime, the Cincinnati-based company is working with Canadian manufacturer GreenPower Motor Company Inc. on a stopgap vehicle called the W750.

“After our costly misstep with the C-1000, our journey is underway,” CEO Rick Dauch said on a conference call with analysts. “Our journey will not be easy, nor for the faint of heart.”

Workhorse said it expects to build and sell at least 250 vehicles in 2022, with production coming entirely in the back half of the year.

The startup said March 1 that it lost $156 million in the fourth quarter, and finished the year with $202 million in cash. Workhorse booked negative $2 million in revenue for the quarter, largely due to returns of the C-1000.

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