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First Energy commits to a fleet of Lordstown Motors electric pickups

The Endurance EV pickup will be ready for deliveries as early as this November, according to the startup. Ohio's First Energy is one of the company's first customers.

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The Endurance pickup should look something like this.

Lordstown Motors

Ambitious startup Lordstown Motors, a product of General Motors' sale of its Lordstown, Ohio manufacturing facility, has a customer.

On Wednesday, the company announced Akron, Ohio-based utility company First Energy has signed a letter of intent to purchase 250 Endurance electric pickup trucks. First Energy said it's "proud to partner" with Lordstown Motors and hopes to support electric car growth in the areas it does business. The company operates in the midwest and mid-Atlantic regions.

In-wheel motors seems like a pipe dream, but Lordstown Motors says they're coming.

Lordstown Motors

Further details are slim, but the utility company said these electric pickups will become part of its vehicle fleet and deployed across regions to carry out utility work. Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors, said these kinds of relationships with local businesses are a key to the startup's success. The company plans to sell the Endurance pickup exclusively to commercial businesses at the start and believes its first vehicle will offer the right mix of equipment fleet operators require.

As for specs, we don't know incredibly much, though Lordstown Motors insists its EV truck will arrive with in-wheel electric motors. The technology is incredibly ambitious and no company has come close to commercializing the technology yet. Benefits include a further decreased number of moving parts compared to today's EVs, which the startup said translates to lower operation costs for fleets.

We'll see the Endurance pickup make a formal debut at the 2020 North American International Auto Show this summer. There, the firm also promised we'll see more than a concept vehicle, but a drivable prototype.

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Originally published Feb. 26.