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Lordstown debuts 'Endurance' all-electric pickup truck with in-wheel motors

This electric pickup isn't meant to be a Tesla Cybertruck rival, but one to win over commercial fleets with a no-nonsense attitude.

Lordstown Motors Endurance electric pickup
Here it is.
Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors' Endurance electric pickup isn't likely to dazzle like the Tesla Cybertruck. It won't ooze adventure like a Rivian R1T or GMC Hummer EV probably will. What the Lordstown Motors Endurance is working to accomplish is to serve fleet customers with the best darn electric pickup they'll ever drive.

On Thursday, Lordstown Motors Corporation revealed its first vehicle set for assembly at its Lordstown, Ohio factory, a plant previously owned by General Motors. The startup has high hopes to revitalize the Mahoning Valley, where GM once cranked out hundreds of thousands of cars.

LMC isn't ready to talk about its house-made battery pack and how much energy it stores, but the startup says the Endurance EV will go 250 miles on a full charge. Additional specs such as power, towing and payload aren't yet available, either, but LMC CEO Steve Burns says the pickup drives more like an enthusiast's car than one might expect, thanks to its in-wheel electric hub motors and low center of gravity.

It's actually not too bad looking.

Lordstown Motors

"We designed the suspension and the chassis for the hub [motors] from the ground up, and as a result, we have a pickup truck that handles like a sports car," Burns told me ahead of the pickup's debut. The electric hub motors put weight on the ground at all four corners to create a pickup that should handle well, while keeping the characteristics of a traditional pickup.

"We put all our funding in the uniqueness of the drivetrain. We don't have leather trim, things like that," Burns says. The drivetrain is indeed unique, with hub motors reducing the truck's total number of moving parts by a large number. In fact, there are just four moving parts in the Endurance: the hub motors. In turn, Burns says, this makes the Endurance cheaper to build than a normal vehicle. "There's nothing simpler [than hub motors]," Burns underscored in our discussion. He would go on to compare the Endurance to the oodles of electric scooters prevalent in dozens of major cities across the US.

Although the Endurance sounds like it will feature some pretty incredible engineering, LMC's lane, if you will, is the "traditional pickup," albeit with battery power. Burns says he didn't want the company to go chasing competitors eying the luxury-truck segment, or the outdoor adventure market. In fact, there isn't even a final decision on whether the company will take orders from private customers. Instead, the truck is primarily intended to serve commercial fleet operators. The Endurance is hoping to be a shoe-in electric pickup for companies ready to make the switch from internal-combustion.

"Since we're small, we're not trying to be all things to all people," said Burns.

LMC is hoping to make it easy for interested companies to switch, promising that the Endurance's dimensions match today's typical full-size gas and diesel pickups. Bed covers should line up perfectly and other accessories for the bed should fit without a fuss. The company also plans to include a power take-off, eliminating the need to haul around a generator for tools on job sites and so on.

Production of the Lordstown Endurance is scheduled to begin in January, 2021. That's an ambitious timeframe, to be sure, but the CEO believes being first to market could foster a real lead for the brand over the long-term. Burns says his company will soon hire 600 line workers to start, with the goal of producing 20,000 pickups during the first year of production. 

Maybe, just maybe, LMC can bring a spark back to Ohio's Steel Valley.

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