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Electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors, which purchased a former General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio, last November, took the wraps off its first model—the Endurance pickup—at the facility on Thursday.

lordstown endurance electric pickup

Endurance electric pickup truck (Image: Lordstown Motors)

The company aims to be first to market with an electric truck with a planned launch next January, which was pushed back a few months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lordstown says it has pre-sold its planned first-year volume of 20,000 units.

At the event, Goodyear announced it will buy an unspecified number of Endurance work trucks for its service fleet. Lordstown already has orders from building restoration specialist Servpro and utility FirstEnergy of 1,200 and 250 units, respectively.

Pricing starts at $52,500. Initial buyers will qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Familiar Appearance

The Endurance, which is based on struggling affiliate Workhorse Group’s W-15 truck, maintains the basic design of most conventionally powered pickups. The truck’s two rows of seating can accommodate five people.

Styling cues include a grille-less face that features a massive shield, centered by Lordstown’s logo, and tiered LED lights. Black accent stripes run along the truck’s sides, stretching from the hood and through the top of the doors to the front edge of the pickup bed. There’s also black trim along the bottom of the doors that rises up into the rear fender and ends at the rear taillight.

Hubba-Hubba

Featuring four electric motors that generate a combined 600 hp, the new pickup is one of the first EVs with its electric motors positioned directly within the wheel hubs.

in-wheel electric motor

In-wheel electric motor (Image: Lordstown)

Lordstown is licensing the technology from Slovenia-based Elaphe Propulsion Technologies. The carmaker will build the motors itself at its Ohio facility.

The layout slashes the number of moving parts in the drivetrain from the thousands found in a conventionally powered 4-wheel-drive truck to just the four wheel motors in the Endurance, eliminating the engine, transmission, differential and driveshaft. By comparison, CEO Steve Burns notes, that even the Ford Model T’s relatively simple drivetrain had 700 moving parts.

The simplified design improves operating efficiency and reliability, while reducing overall wear and tear.

Burns says it also optimizes weight distribution, safety and performance capabilities, including what he claims will be the best traction of any pickup in the world. At the same time, Burns boasts that the Endurance will handle like a sports car.

250-Mile Range

Lordstown previously has estimated the Endurance will have a range of more than 250 miles and fuel economy efficiency equivalency of 75 mpg-e.

Using the 7-kW onboard charger, a full recharge takes 10 hours from a 240-volt Level 2 AC source. DC fast charging can be done in as little as 30 minutes.

Other specs include a:

  • 7,500 -lb towing capacity
  • 80 mph electronically limited top speed
  • 120-volt auxiliary outlet for power tools

Mounting Competition

Several other carmakers are readying their own electric trucks.

The list includes industry leaders Ford and General Motors, as well as other startups such as Bollinger, Nikola and Rivian. Tesla’s futuristic Cybertruck also is in the works.

All of the trucks are expected to debut within the next two years.

VIP Intro

Lordstown’s livestream unveiling featured an all-star speaker lineup that included Vice President Mike Pence, former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel—who now is the president of nearby Youngstown University—and Dept. of Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, along with local officials and Lordstown executives.

Pence, who rode onto the stage in a pre-production model with Burns, praised the vehicle and the company. "It's a nice ride. I'm a truck guy."

The massive 6.2 million-sq-ft plant, which employed 4,500 workers in 2016, has been a political football since GM closed it 15 months ago. Lordstown plans to employ about 900 workers at the facility.

GM loaned Lordstown $40 million to help retool the facility. The startup is seeking to raise $400 million in its next round of funding.

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