June 28th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
The Lordstown Endurance is an American-made all-electric pickup truck with 4 in-wheel motors that use technology licensed from Elaphe, 600 horsepower, a stump-pulling maximum torque of 4,400 ft-lbs, and a range of 250 miles. If it looks pretty much like a standard pickup truck, that’s by design.
“We really tried to strike a balance on the looks, since we cater to fleets,” Lordstown CEO Steve Burns told Ars Technica just prior to the official reveal last week. “We thought, let’s keep the vehicle so that at least it’s a pickup truck. It has a bed and a cab and a hood, but let’s make sure — because a lot of fleets are very proud that they are putting their names on the side of an electric vehicle — let’s make sure folks can point to that and say, ‘Oh, that’s one of those electrics.”
The front definitely avoids the “My truck is way tougher than your truck” appearance of all the offerings from the Big Three. It’s not as svelte as a Tesla, perhaps, but unmistakably modern in an “I’m electric” sort of way. In fact, Ars Technica sums up the look of the Endurance rather succinctly: “The first thing you notice about the Endurance is that it looks like it was styled to blend in on an American worksite, not to stand out on the surface of Mars.” Gee, wonder who they had in mind when they said that, huh?
Ford says the top-of-the-line model of its new F-150 is every bit as luxurious as a Bentley Mulsanne. Lordstown says it could care less about luxury touches. It is making work trucks for fleet buyers like utility companies, public works departments, and the like. “Again, we’re catering to a certain customer — commercial fleet customers. So we don’t have a leather seat option and things like that, so we could focus just on ‘let’s make this a functional work truck that gets the equivalent of 75 miles per gallon,'” Burns said.
Those certain customers will get a truck that can fast charge at up to 150 kW and has AC outlets rated at 30 amps so workers can run power tools far from the nearest electrical grid. They will get a truck that can go anywhere on or off road and tow up to 7,500 pounds while doing it. Annual production capacity is said to be 20,000 trucks and Burns says every one of the first 20,000 are spoken for.
Will the Lordstown Endurance, named for the iconic former GM factory in Lordstown, Ohio, save the world on its own? No, but it will make it possible for a lot of gasoline and diesel pickup trucks in today’s fleets to be replaced by a zero emissions alternative. And everyone who drives an Endurance will discover the goodness of instant acceleration and a whisper-quiet ride. That news will trickle down and soon others will be waltzing in to Ford, Chevy, GMC, and Dodge dealerships asking when they too can buy an electric pickup truck. That’s when that “saving the world” part will kick in.
Lordstown Motors is being very tight-lipped about who its battery cell supplier is and the size of its battery pack. The Endurance is priced from $52,500 and is eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. Production is expected to begin early next year. Commercial fleet managers don’t give a damn about looks or interior appointments. All they care about is the total cost of ownership for a truck that can do what needs to be done. The chart below should put a big smile on all their faces.
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